Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop:
The Sanitation Strike of 1968
by Alice Faye Duncan ill R. Gregory Christie
So much was won.
So much was lost.
Freedom is never free.
Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop transports young readers back to the momentous events of 1968 in Tennessee. Informational narration, poetic text, and free verse recount events surrounding the Memphis Sanitation Strike as seen through the eyes of nine-year-old Lorraine Jackson. Her father, a sanitation worker, joined with 1,300 men who organized a labor strike. The workers demanded increased job safety, improved working conditions, and better wages.
Christie’s signature style is used to excellent effect. Lorraine’s head is proportionally large, suggesting her pivotal role as storyteller. Images of picket lines are monochromatic with raised placards displaying no text. This puts the focus on the marchers and allows readers to envision their own protest slogans.
Back matter is an exceptionally rich resource. Included are a three-page annotated timeline, a description of the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, a list of sources, and source notes.
there is no stopping point short of victory.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Introduce students to the power of Dr. King’s words with this excerpt from his speech “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” delivered at the Masonic Temple in Memphis on April 3, 1968.
Experience the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. or visit it virtually to learn more about the legacy of this leader.