Going Down Jericho Road The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign

    Memphis in 1968 was ruled by a paternalistic "plantation mentality". Wretched conditions, abusive white supervisors, poor education and low wages locked most black workers into poverty. Then two dustmen were chewed up like rubbish in the back of a faulty lorry, igniting a public employee strike that brought to the boil long-simmering issues of racial injustice. With novelistic drama and rich scholarly detail, Michael Honey brings to life the characters who clashed on the Memphis battlefield: stalwart black workers; fiery black ministers; volatile black-power advocates; idealistic organisers and tough-talking unionists; the first black members of the Memphis city council; the whites who sought to prevent change; and the magisterial Martin Luther King Jr, at the crossroads of his life, vilified as a subversive, hounded by the FBI and seeing in the working poor of Memphis his hopes for a better America.

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