Lot 633 View Catalog
Civil Rights poster "I AM A Man," with photograph at center by Ernest C. Withers (African-American, 1922- 2007), black and white poster on stiff cardboard, printed in Memphis, 1968, 14" x 22", unframed. Very rare, original poster from the Sanitation worker's strike that drew Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis, Tennessee at the end of March 1968. This version of the poster, with the Wither's photograph of two Memphis Union workers at center, most likely predates the other two known versions of the poster. Likely in an effort to save on printing costs, the latter two show text only, and don't contain the photograph by Withers. One simply reads "I Am A Man," the other "Honor King, End Racism." These were carried by the sanitation workers on the streets of Memphis during the strike. King felt strongly about their cause saying "the issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. Later that week on April 4th, King was shot and killed on the terrace of his Memphis motel.