MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A house deeply rooted in history is now safe thanks to Memphis Light, Gas, and Water.
On Wednesday, MLGW announced plans to preserve the home of the late Joe C. Warren, a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement during the Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968.
"Mr. Warrens story and the story of the brave sanitation workers who stood with him and pursued fair treatment and justice is the story that must be told over and over again," said MLGW President and CEO Jerry Collins.
"It is well-deserved for Joe Warren because he always stood for dignity and respect," said Dorothy Crook, the first female director of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
Other sanitation workers who participated in the march were there to honor Warren at the site that will soon be given a historical marker.
"He was a good man living right," said HB Crockett, a Memphis sanitation worker with Warren. "He believed in right. [There was] nothing bad about him."
Warren's home held many meetings for AFSCME Memphis Local 1733, where he coined the term, "I am a man," after 33 workers were unjustly fired from the sanitation department in 1965.
Up until last week, the home at Meagher Street and Dunkley Avenue was set to be bulldozed as part of MLGW's North Service Center expansion. The plans were pulled at the last minute.
"I became aware that this was his home Tuesday afternoon Aug. 1, and as soon as they told me, I said, 'Well, we cannot tear that house down; that house must continue to stand,'" Collins said.