Memphis City Council honors sanitation workers with humanitarian award

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Civil Rights icons are receiving the recognition they deserve.

On Tuesday, The Memphis City Council presented the 1968 sanitation strikers with the Memphis City Council humanitarian award.

The strikers fought for safe working conditions and adequate pay for the job they were doing at the time.

Before the pictures and handshakes, Memphis City Council Chairman Berlin Boyd detailed the resilience through the struggle.

"The strikers showed courage and determination in their struggle for economic equality and social justice," Boyd said.

He detailed the impact of 1,300 sanitation workers and their extraordinary service.

"They wanted Memphis and the world to know that, 'I am a Man."

HB Crockett, who was also honored Tuesday, talked about the difficulties before the strike.

"We were trying to take some money home to our family. We wanted to feed our family and children."

He discussing the differences he saw after sanitation workers voices were finally listened to.

"It changed pretty good, I would say. Supervisors started treating you right. At first they wasn't."

Crockett remembers the pain and shock of Dr. Martin Luther King's death when he was killed in Memphis, and now he is pleased he and his former colleagues have been recognized.

An award was also presented to AFSCME in remembrance of the striking sanitation workers who are no longer living, but their contributions were a big part to the fight for equality.