MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- I am a man.
Powerful words and powerful images seen in 1968 of sanitation workers as they marched in strike following the deaths of two workers.
"It's a very powerful statement that helps us really reflect on inequality in the most degrading way," said executive director of the Withers Collection Rosalind Withers.
"It's still a problem, and it's not just the garbage workers who happen to be black or the sanitation workers, it's true of workers all over America of every race, creed, class or color. A society is no stronger than the people who are its foundation," said United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young.
Dr. Martin Luther King became involved in the movement in March 1968. Rev. Jesse Jackson was with him when he returned to Memphis on April 3.
"They felt there was no greater value in a poor people's campaign, and it turned out a garbage worker's strike."
He was also by Dr. King's side when he was shot and killed.
"I said 'Dr. King, the prerequisite for dinner was an appetite not a tie.' He said 'You`re crazy.' We laughed and then he said 'Ben, be sure to play my favorite song tonight, Precious Lord.' And I heard pow!"
A moment in history that still haunts him to this day.
"To this day it's fresh. It hurts. He was 39. He will always be 39. He will never be an old man. He was 39 at the height of his career. Under so much attack. The (inaudible) to disrupt him, discredit him."
Rev. Jackson, alongside Young, came to Memphis 49 years after that fateful day to recount the movement and to echo Dr. King's last writing, "Where do we go from here?"
"I feel like it's a waste of time because they don`t know what they are protesting about. It's anger without defining the problem," said Rev. Jackson.
Young said the protests and cries of some movement today are out of frustration, but said there is a lesson to be learned about taking the peaceful approach in the fight for justice.
"You can`t get angry in a fight. Anger will kill you before the fight will, and so it's no accident that those of us who are living now were those who are nonviolent. The ones who never got angry."
I am a man.
The world may have changed, but the meaning behind these words have not.