Interview with Jerred Blanchard

Can you start one more because you said February 1967, it's February '68. So was this strike spontaneous.


It sure was. Yes sir. Yes sir. Please bear in mind that this was February of the year 1968. I know that because we'd been in office, we were elected in '67 and we'd been in office five weeks. And it was a cold February, it was raining, it was a typical Memphis February. You don't have garbage strikes in the winter. I was in New York one summer when they had a garbage strike and it piled up and it stank and it was a terrible place to be. But not here, man, we could sort of cold storage it right there on the street for a while. No, the strike was spontaneous. T.O. Jones had a belly full, he'd had a belly full when he said, and it's a quote "I am a man." He meant it. And he was not being treated like a man and all of a sudden it welled up in him and he struck and he got his men to go out with him. The union never even knew about it 'till he told them later.