MLK’s Environmental Justice Legacy Threatened By Trump Administration Cuts

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EMMA LEE / WHYY, Jerome Shabazz runs the Overbook Environmental Education Center in Philadelphia. Shabazz says he has used federal dollars from the EPA's environmental justice office to raise awareness about water quality and toxins like lead.

It was a stormy night in Memphis, Tennessee, and Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t feeling very well. He had a slight fever and a sore throat, and felt exhausted after the trip to the city that would see him die.

But he got up from his bed at the Lorraine Motel and joined hundreds of striking sanitation workers gathered at the Bishop Charles Mason Temple. Public garbage collectors were demanding equal rights and accusing the city of neglect and abuse. It was April 3rd 1968, the night before his assassination, and the third time he had traveled to Memphis to support the strike.

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