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I AM A MAN Plaza - Commemorating the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis, TN"


Architect/Designer: Cliff Garten Studios
Client: City of Memphis
Location: Memphis, TN
Stone: Vermont Olympian Danby, Northern Black Granite, Saint Henri Granite

The I AM A MAN memorial in Memphis, Tennessee was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike, which tragically ended with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The collaborative efforts of the design team and the Memphis community resulted in the incorporation of historical text, including a comprehensive timeline of events and the names of the strikers, into the memorial. 

Collaborating with artist Cliff Garten, Quarra Stone undertook the carving of marble gates and the fabrication of black granite columns, the granite timeline, and the dedicatory wall.

During the unveiling of the memorial, representatives from Quarra Stone had the privilege of meeting esteemed figures, including the late Congressman John Lewis, a prominent civil rights activist who had worked alongside Dr. King during the height of the movement, as well as some of the sanitation workers who participated in the strike five decades earlier. The encounters with these dignitaries and workers left a lasting impact on the Quarra Stone team, providing deeper meaning to their craftsmanship and reinforcing the significance of their work.

The I AM A MAN Plaza, located within a National Historic Landmark site, offers visitors a space for introspection and inspiration, inviting them to engage with the enduring legacy of the Civil Rights Movement.

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