“I AM A MAN” was a statement that echoed throughout the Civil Rights Movement. Conceived in Memphis, Tennessee, after two African American trash handlers were killed by a malfunctioning garbage truck, the phrase was a declaration of humanity, a demand for better wages and safer working conditions. The Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike began on February 12, 1968. Martin Luther King Jr. joined the cause a month later and gave speeches throughout the state.
Today prominent African American artists like Hank Willis Thomas and Glenn Ligon—both artists represented in the Colby Museum collection—have incorporated this phrase into their own artwork.
Visit the Museum and create your own “I AM A…” posters. Polaroids of guests holding their final posters will hang in the Museum’s Williams D. Adams Gallery.
Students, faculty, and staff who will be engaging in the “Local Women’s March” on January 21st in Augusta, Maine, and the “Woman March On Washington” on January 19-22, 2017 in Washington, D.C., are encouraged to participate in this workshop as posters can be used during these demonstrations.
This program is free and open to the public. For more information contact Mirken Coordinator of Academic and Public Programs Jordia Benjamin at [email protected].