February 12, 1968, Memphis sanitation workers went on strike to protest, among other things, the death of two of their fellow workers due to unsafe working conditions. The Memphis mayor refused to negotiate. He saw no reason for concern over the condition under which “Negroes” worked and, besides, the strikers would be back as soon as the money ran out.
His cavalier and uncaring attitude raised a simple question in the men’s minds: Am I not a man? This same question had been used by abolitionists in an attempt to shame “Christian” men and women into realizing that Slaves were humans. Just as they were. And beholding to the same God and due the same rights. Eventually, a war was fought to settle that question from a legal standpoint. Blacks were men UNDER THE LAW.
Now, we find ourselves suddenly realizing that UNDER THE LAW means nothing if it isn’t recognized by the people. Virtually all Americans pay lip service to the truth that Black men are indeed men but many through their actions and the law demonstrate that it is, indeed, only lip service. It is time once again to let them now that we are men. Let them know that “I AM A MAN”That is the simple fact. And as a man in this country I have certain rights which I will insist are recognized and honored. All because I AM A MAN.
There was a time when Black men who wanted to be recognized as men had to stand up and declare it. And they did. Loudly and proudly.
They let the world know they were men by simply carrying a sign that declared “I AM A MAN” and not letting anyone forget it. Today, we find ourselves in the same situation. Black men are no longer seen as men. They are seen as criminals and thugs. They are, to quote the Governor of Maine, “the enemy” as far as much of America is concerned.
To fight back, we’ve designed a shirt to tell the world you have had enough. That you are a descendant of those men that carried a sign declaring their manhood. They were beaten, attacked by dogs, jailed, and even killed for taking this stand. Take your own stand and help others at the same time.
Purchase one of our I AM A MAN (Say it again) t-shirts. You don’t have to be Black or White or Brown or Red or Yellow to wear it. You don’t have to be Straight or Gay or Bi or Trans. You don’t have to be Anglo or Latino. You don’t have to be Native-born or Immigrant.
You don’t even have to be a man.
You simply have to be willing to say “I will have my rights AND YOU WILL NOT STOP ME!” They come in the original red letters on white background and a more impactful and modern white letters on black background.