On the third Monday of every January, Americans reflect on the impact of one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders, Martin Luther King Jr.
But MLK’s legacy extends far beyond the modern civil rights movement. In addition to championing equality for Americans of all colors, the Georgia preacher inspired America’s animal welfare and environmental movements, too.
On the eve of his assassination, for example, King was applying his policy of non-violent resistance to help sanitation workers strike for better working conditions in Memphis, Tennessee. King refused to stand by while Black Americans worked in unsafe and unsanitary conditions and for just a fraction of the money earned by their White counterparts. “You don’t get more environmental justice than that,” the executive director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, Eddie Bautista, told Grist. “All the environment really is is where you live, work, play, or pray.”
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