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Abernathy, Ralph

b. 1926 - d. 1990

A native of Linden, Alabama, Rev. Ralph David Abernathy was pastor of First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, when he began working with Dr. King, other church ministers and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) officers to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Following this event, Dr. King and Rev. Abernathy co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) with other African American clergymen and later engaged in numerous civil rights campaigns until Dr. King’s death. By 1962, Rev. Abernathy had moved to Atlanta to serve as senior pastor of West Hunter Street Baptist Church and to be closer to SCLC, which he would later lead. Dr. King honored Rev. Abernathy in his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address calling him “the best friend I have in the world.”

Associated Archive Content : 262 results

Letter from MLK and Rev. Abernathy Regarding the Clergymen's Conference

Dr. King and Rev. Abernathy write to inform their readers of the tentative dates of the Clergymen's Conference on Operation Breadbasket. King and Abernathy mention that the dates of the conference need to be moved due to their impending jail sentence.

Letter from MLK Regarding the Movie "Two Eyes, Twelve Hands"

In this letter, Dr. King writes to an unknown recipient regarding royalty matters of a movie entitled "Two Eyes, Twelve Hands". Dr. King thanks the recipient for consideration, and urges that further communication should be directed to Reverend Andrew Young.

Letter from MLK to Dr. L. K. Jackson

Dr. King regretfully informs Dr. L. K. Jackson that the Sunday he wants to preach at Ebenezer is one of the three Sundays that he is obliged to preach. Dr. King states the he knows Pastor Jackson understands his schedule and he would love to have him speak at his church in the future. Dr. King connects Pastor Jackson to Reverend Abernathy so that he can preach at his church.

Letter from MLK to Dr. Lester Kendel Jackson

Dr. King writes to Dr. Jackson of St. Paul Baptist Church regarding Dr. Jackson's recent visit to Atlanta. Dr. King offers a heartfelt apology to Dr. Jackson for not meeting with him due to sequence of miscommunications and unavoidable events.

Letter from MLK to Lenn Latham

Dr. King expresses gratitude for support of his work and advises that nonviolence is the only way to achieve change.

Letter from MLK to Michael J. Quill

Dr. King expresses his appreciation for Michael J. Quill's dedication to the "front lines" during a libel case. Dr. King informs Mr. Quill of the current status of the case and the courts response. He further provides Mr. Quill with the operations in the south and their deep involvement in the "Freedom Ride."

Letter from MLK to Mr. W David Angus

Dr. King is responding to the invitation given by W. David Angus. He regrettably informs Angus that due to his overcrowded schedule, he is unable to speak in Montreal. He suggests Reverend Ralph Abernathy as a more than adequate alternative to speak.

Letter from MLK to Philip Lubliner

Dr. King expresses gratitude for Mr. Lubliner's support during the "freedom struggle in the South."

Letter from MLK to Ralph Abernathy

Dr. King sends notice to Ralph Abernathy about expenses relating to SCLC's phone bills and staff salaries.

Letter from MLK to Vice President Nixon

Dr. King thanks Vice President Richard Nixon for an earlier meeting. He supports the limited Civil Rights Bill (the Civil Rights Act of 1957) finally passed by the Senate and hopes the President will not veto it. He believes that a sustained mass movement is needed for the bill to be effective and is calling for a “Crusade for Citizenship” in the South to get at least 2 million Negroes registered to vote for the 1960 elections. King lauds the Vice President for his vigorous efforts in support of the Civil Rights Bill.

Letter from MLK to Yves Choliere

Dr. King informs Yves Choliere that he is unable to participate in the World Peace Congress in Helsinki, Finland in July of 1965. King explains that he and Reverend Abernathy are very busy with voter registration throughout the American South.

Letter from MLK's Secretary to Ralph and Juanita Abernathy

Dr. King's secretary sends Ralph and Juanita Abernathy information regarding the trip to Oslo, Norway for the month of December, 1964.

Letter from Morris A. Morse to Rev. Abernathy

Morris Morse sends his condolences regarding the death of Dr. King. Mr. Morse further explains his opposition of the idea of building a two million dollar church in Dr. King's honor, because he believes that the reverend would not want such a memorial when so many people are in need.

Letter from Mr. & Mrs. Mills to Rev. Abernathy

This letter from a couple in Austin, Texas is a "message of encouragement" to Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, recently appointed as the head of the SCLC in the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination.

Letter from Mr. and Mrs. Hans Spehr to Ralph David Abernathy

This letter is addressed to Rev. Ralph Abernathy from the Spehr family of Germany. The couple wanted to inform Rev. Abernathy of their written correspondence to President Lyndon Johnson, drafting a plan that would lead to full employment.

Letter from Mr. and Mrs. Robinson to Rev. Abernathy

Mr. and Mrs. Robinson send a sermon to Reverend Abernathy and his followers hoping to encourage them on their difficult days ahead.

Letter from Mrs. Behlen to Ralph Abernathy

Mrs. Behlen congratulates Ralph Abernathy for the wonderful job he did during the funeral services for Dr. King.

Letter from Mrs. Bonnie Cohen to Ralph David Abernathy

Bonnie Cohen, a senior at Eastern Michigan University, writes to Rev. Abernathy requesting his thoughts on the problem of "crime in the streets."

Letter from Mrs. Elsie Walker to the SCLF

In this letter, Mrs. Elsie Walker mentions the enclosure of $50 given in memory of Dr. King. She also commits her Church's Service Guild to making annual pilgrimages to Dr. King's burial site in order to pay homage to "our Leader."

Letter from Mrs. Emma Hines to MLK

Mrs. Emma Hines offers her moral and financial support to Dr. King. As a 78 year old woman, she will not be able to join King in his march, however, states that she has some young people that might be joining.

Letter from Mrs. George W. Hammond to Ralph David Abernathy

Mrs. Hammond writes Reverend Abernathy with the hope of finding someone to purchase her home in Bristol, New Hampshire.

Letter from Ms. Dorothy Clark to Rev. Abernathy

In this letter accompanying a contribution, Ms. Clark expresses her condolences after Dr. King's assassination and pledges her personal support in continuing his mission.

Letter from Nancy F. Oakes to Rev. Ralph Abernathy

Nancy Oakes writes a letter of support to Reverend Ralph Abernathy and wishes him success with the March for the Poor People's Crusade.

Letter from Nathan Green to Ralph David Abernathy

Here, Nathan Green requests to meet with Rev. Abernathy to discuss a plan that Green believes will be of "tremendous value" to their cause.

Letter from O. L. Sherrill to Ralph David Abernathy

The Executive Secretary of the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina requests multiple copies of the program from Dr. King's funeral service.

Letter from Peter A. Minthom to Ralph D. Abernathy

Peter Minthom, an American Indian from Oregon, requests assistance in traveling to Washington D.C. for the Poor People’s March.

Letter from R. D. Earnhardt to Ralph David Abernathy

R.D. Earnhardt requests a meeting with Rev. Abernathy to discuss Dr. King's death and the plan to proceed with the "Poor People's March on Washington, DC.

Letter from Ralph Abernathy to Dr. Homer A. Jack

Ralph Abernathy follows up with Dr. Jack about a conversation they had regarding funds for the Jimmie Lee Jackson Memorial Fund. Abernathy encloses a check from the SCLC for the fund, which will provide the family of the slain civil rights protestor with a total of $70 per month. Abernathy also confirms that the fund will also provide a scholarship to Jackson's sister.

Letter from Ralph Abernathy to F. D. Kirkpatrick

Rev. Abernathy commends Rev. Kirkpatrick on his job with the Steering Committee and discusses the enclosure of receipts.

Letter from Ralph Ahlberg to Ralph David Abernathy

Minister Ahlberg extends condolences on behalf of The Congregational Church of Rockville Centre to Rev. Abernathy upon the assassination of Dr. King.

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