Memphis sanitation worker remembers strike of '68, King's assassination





Elmore Nickelberry has guided his grumbling garbage truck down Memphis' alleyways and avenues for 54 years, picking up not just trash, but a remarkable life story along the way.

March marks 40 years since Memphis and its sanitation workers took center stage in the nation's civil rights struggles. While time has tempered this city's downtown district — gone are the protests, curfews and bloodshed of '68 — the memories of that period live on within Nickelberry.

"This is where they threw gas on us," the 76-year-old points out as the truck passes the Clayborn Temple, where Martin Luther King Jr. led a thousand mostly African-American striking sanitation workers on a march.



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