Fifty years ago this month, two young black sanitation workers were killed on the job in Memphis. The tragedy sparked the historic “I AM A MAN” strike, with 1,300 black workers joined by Martin Luther King, Jr. in demanding recognition of their union (AFSCME), basic safety standards and a decent wage.

This month, 50 years after the Memphis workers’ strike, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a case brought by corporate elites to divide working people by limiting our power in numbers. Undercutting our right to organize exacerbates the racial wage gap and starves the unions that give communities of color a voice against corporate interests.

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