Lot #3001
Original 'I Am a Man' Poster

"I Am A Man"—the iconic slogan of the Civil Rights Movement

Estimate: $6000+


"I Am A Man"—the iconic slogan of the Civil Rights Movement

Historic original "I Am A Man" poster printed in 1968 by the Tea Lautrec Litho print shop, 22 x 28, with "Memphis" underneath the prominent main text. Bottom left corner has: "tea lautrec litho - san francisco." Bottom right corner has: "(c) 1968 Emerson Graphics - 243 Collins Street. San Francisco 94118 / Mail Order $1.25 (Quantity Prices On Request)." Framed to an overall size of 23.25 x 29. In fine condition.

The "I Am A Man" poster was made famous with the Memphis sanitation strike of February-April 1968. Shortly after two workers, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, were crushed to death in the back of their garbage truck, as many as 1,300 black sanitation workers in Memphis walked off the job in protest of horrible working conditions and racist discrimination by the city. Martin Luther King, Jr. traveled to Memphis to support the strike as part of his Poor People’s Campaign, speaking before a large crowd on March 18th and leading a mass demonstration on the 28th. Mayor Henry Loeb III imposed martial law and brought in 4,000 National Guard troops. The following day, over 200 striking workers continued their daily march, carrying the iconic signs that read: “I Am A Man.” The slogan emerged as a unifying theme, and this poster has become one of the enduring images of the Civil Rights Movement.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Remarkable Rarities
  • Dates: #592 - Ended September 11, 2020