In early 1968 the grisly on-the-job deaths of two African-American sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, prompted an extended strike by that city's segregated force of trash collectors. Workers sought union protection, higher wages, improved safety, and the integration of their work force. Their work stoppage became a part of the larger civil rights movement and drew an impressive array of national movement leaders to Memphis, including, on more than one occasion, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
King added his voice to the struggle in what became the final speech of his life. His assassination in Memphis on April 4 not only sparked protests and violence throughout America; it helped force the acceptance of worker demands in Memphis. The sanitation strike ended eight days after King's death.
The connection between the Memphis sanitation strike and King's death has not received the emphasis it deserves, especially for younger readers. Marching to the Mountaintop explores how the media, politics, the Civil Rights Movement, and labor protests all converged to set the scene for one of King's greatest speeches and for his tragic death.
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Named Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2013 by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council!
Named Noteworthy Title for Children and Teens by Capitol Choices!
Named a Choice Book of 2013 by the Cooperative Children's Book Center!
"This compelling informational text features well-chosen photographs coupled with intersecting summaries of King's various crusades for social justice and civil rights." - Pennsylvania Reads
Ann Bausum is an award-winning children's book author on the lookout for personal stories that connect readers with our nation's past and the echo of history in current events. Marching to the Mountaintop is Ann's ninth book for the National Geographic Society. With painstaking research, an eye for just the right illustration, and a compelling narrative, awardwinning author Ann Bausum makes history come alive for young people. Previous books for National Geographic include Denied, Detained, Deported: Stories From the Dark Side of American Immigration; Muckrakers: How Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, and Upton Sinclair Exposed Corruption, Inspired Reform, and Helped Found Investigative Journalism; Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement, which was a Sibert Honor Book, and With Courage and Cloth: Winning the Fight for a Woman's Right to Vote, winner of the Jane Addams Award. Ann lives in Beloit, Wisconsin. To find out more about her writing, visit her on the Web at www.AnnBausum.com