Memphis to honor 50th anniversary of ‘I Am A Man’ march

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - One of the most iconic moments in the Bluff City's history set to be recreated this weekend with a few changes.

It's been 50 years since the Memphis sanitation workers made the declaration "I Am a Man."

"We know better now, we want to do better now," said Ursula Madden with City of Memphis.

The city wants to honor the sanitation workers with a march Saturday morning from Memphis City Hall to Clayborn Temple.

It's the reverse route the sanitation workers walked in 1968 after going on strike in response to the deaths of two workers who were crushed by a garbage truck. They wanted better pay, better hours, and improved safety.

"Admitting the City of Memphis' involvement of causing what happened 50 years ago, admitting that you were not on the right side of history, and saying that you regret that and know that was a mistake," Madden said.

But with rain in the forecast, the walk will instead be a commemoration ceremony at the Orpheum Theater.

"We just couldn't justify having people walk down Main Street in a storm," Madden said.

The celebration will include performances by the Tennessee Mass Choir and CNN commentator Angela Rye as the guest speaker.

Though the venue may have changed, officials won't let it rain on the commemoration and they said the message is the same.

"We're hoping that people will look at this moment as a time to come together and to look at what our future can be in the City of Memphis," Madden said.

If you want to be a part of the event to honor Memphis Sanitation Workers, doors open at 9 a.m., the ceremony starts at 10 a.m., and it's free and open to the public.

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