MLGW adds historical marker at home of late sanitation worker

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A historical marker now honors the home of the former sanitation worker who is responsible for coining the phrase, "I Am A Man."

Joe C. Warren Sr. and others marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1968 Sanitation Strike.

With several Memphis sanitation workers from the 1968 strike in attendance, MLGW, City of Memphis, and others celebrated the unveiling of the plaque in front of a pivotal home during the strike.

"The history of this house, none of the houses I grew up in had nearly the history that this has and I think it's definitely fitting," said Ken Moody--special assistant to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

Warren Sr., who passed away in 2012, was a civil rights pioneer.

The new marker honors the home on 968 Meagher Street--a place where many meetings planning the sanitation strike were held.

His son Joe Warren Jr. has many memories inside this home.

"It's part of their heritage, and I'm glad of it and I'm proud of it," Warren Jr. said. "I got two sons, big boys, and they're proud of their granddaddy, too."

Thursday's event honored and thanked the sanitation workers who stood up peacefully in the face of violence and intimidation.

"Quite frankly, I stand before you today in large part because of what they did," MLGW President and CEO J.T. Young said. "That's not lost on me."

But the workers themselves reminded the crowd to keep an eye on the future.

"Take the torch and run with it," worker Cleophus Smith said. "Because 50 years ago, this would have been unheard of. So, do your best."

MLGW pledged to preserve and maintain the Warren home in 2017. Now, this new plague will help every visitor understand the history created inside these walls.

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