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Ralph Abernathy

Civil Rights
by

Laura Goodnow

on 26 March 2013

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Transcript of Ralph Abernathy

Ralph Abernathy Family Background Early Childhood Life Before the Civil Rights
Movement Life After The Civil
Rights Movement Lasting Impact Involvement in the Civil
Rights Movement Works Cited Ralph Abernathy's original first name was David
He grew up and worked very hard on his families farm
Abernathy knew ever since he was very young that he wanted to be a preacher
His family was very religious and attended church and Sunday school regularly The Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956) Martin Luther King Jr. was shot on April 3rd, 1968
Abernathy, being the Assistant President of the SCLC then became the President and led more marches and demonstrations
Abernathy served as Vice President of American Freedom Coalition and also co-founded it
He passed on April 17, 1990 at age 64 from two blood clots After King died, he took charge of the movement
Abernathy received many awards, most notably honorary degrees from Long Island University in New York; Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia; Kalamazoo College in Michigan, and Alabama State University
He also had Interstate 20 and Abernathy Road named after his legacy in Atlanta, Georgia http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ralph_Abernathy

http://www.notablebiographies.com/A-An/Abernathy-Ralph.html His parents were William and Louivery Abernathy
Ralphs father, William Abernathy, started as a sharecropper and was a son of a slave
His father saved money and bought 500 acres to start a farm
He was very admired. He was the first African American to vote and serve on jury in his county and was a deacon in his church
Ralph was the tenth of twelve brothers and sisters "There will be no quiet or peace in this land until justice and equality cover the United States of America as the water covers the seas." Continued... Abernathy had no exposure to racism and little contact with white children
He had one dangerous encounter with a white man
His father passed away in his teenage years and his grandfather shortly after
Too soon after that, Abernathy's three older brothers left to serve in WWII At barely eighteen year old, in April 1944, Ralph Abernathy was called into active duty in WWII
He was quickly promoted to Sergeant due to his dedication and work ethic
He was sent home due to rheumatic fever
He then enrolled at Alabama State University graduating with a degree in Mathematics in 1950
In college, he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Continued...
He led many demonstrations through this fraternity and really started a leadership roll and through a civics class he learned the importance of the right to vote and soon passed the literacy test
He met a women named Juanita Odessa Jones and eventually made her Mrs. Abernathy
He became pastor of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama
He received a masters in Sociology and did guest preaching at many churches which is where he came across the great Martin Luther King Jr. It all started when Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man
King and Abernathy then formed the Montgomery Improvement Association
African Americans stopped using the busing systems
It ended a year later with the Supreme Court ruling that segregation on busing was unconstitutional. This huge win marked the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement
King and Abernathy then founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) with hopes to further the movement Involvement continued... He was involved in defending and helping the Freedom Riders in 1961
Four years earlier his church and home were attacked and bombed and this happened once again
An angry white mob attacked First Baptist Church with Abernathy, King, and Freedom Riders inside Involvement continued... Birmingham Demonstrations: Also in 1963, King, Abernathy, and the SCLC organized riots in attempt to desegregate Birmingham
The Public Safety Commissioner, Eugene "Bull" Conner used extreme measures
King and Abernathy were jailed along with 3,000 other people and the media picked up on this
Over 250 cities in the South did not agree with the violence used and for the first time ever desegregation began to happen on its own http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1110 Involvement continued... March on Washington : On August 28, 1963 over 250,000 people including King and Abernathy attended the March on Washington
King made his "I Have A Dream Speech"
The Civil Rights Act and The Voting Act were a result
Full transcript