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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 to Ralph Abernathy from Abraham Grinoch

Rev. Ralph Abernathy received this letter addressing the issuance of war bonds to meet financial requirements during war emergencies. Grinoch proposes that the country issue "War on Poverty Bonds", to provide the funds necessary for eradicating poverty in the United States.

Letter to Ralph Abernathy Offering Suggestions

A supporter of the civil rights movement writes this letter to Reverend Abernathy. It is suggested that the Negro leaders of the civil rights movement consider the voting power of senior citizens. In order to get "a massive single solid vote bloc" it would be advantageous to also include the poor population. With this amount of supporters, the writer believes it would be possible to sustain a presidential candidacy. The author continues by telling Abernathy of Russia's economic goal.

Letter to Ralph D. Abernathy

Subsequent to the assassination of Dr. King, three posters are erected in San Francisco to express the opposition to his death and the continuance of the movement. Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy is instructed to show these posters to Coretta Scott King at an appropriate time.

Letter to Ralph D. Abernathy from Ralph E. Gulliver

The James H. Farrell Lodge contributes to the SCLC for the cause of Freedom-Now.

Letter to Ralph David Abernathy from Allen L. Johnson

Southern Christian Leadership Conference board member Allen L. Johnson wrote this letter to Rev. Abernathy shortly after Dr. King's death. Johnson expressed his support of Rev. Abernathy's leadership of the organization.

Letter to Ralph David Abernathy from the Church Women United in Atlanta

President Nancy Elliott Fowler of Church Women United in Atlanta writes to express her appreciation for the "magnificent job Rev. Abernathy did in the handling of Dr. King's funeral." Fowler also conveys the organization's unanimous approval to an enclosed resolution honoring Dr. King.

Letter to Rev. Ralph Abernathy

Rev. Abernathy received this correspondence from an individual disgruntled with a California politician. The document calls for reform and amnesty for poor people in America. The author's name, in this letter, is not clearly legible.

Letter to Rev. Ralph Abernathy from Fred Lofton

Written on SCLC stationary, Fred Lofton addressed this letter to Rev. Ralph Abernathy. On behalf of his church, First African Baptist Church, Mr. Lofton pledged to continue to extend support for the work of SCLC.

Letter to Rev. Ralph Abernathy from Mary Bonaventure

The author writes to Rev. Ralph Abernathy to express how impressed she was with the events surrounding Dr. King's funeral. She also made a lengthy request for mementos of the funeral service and Dr. King's speeches.

Letter to Rev. Ralph Abernathy from MLK

Dr. King sends checks and a telephone bill to the SCLC.

Letter to Reverend Ralph Abernathy from Eleanore Wallace

Mrs. Wallace writes to Rev. Abernathy in admiration of how he has carried on the work of Dr. King and wants to know how she can further contribute to the SCLC.

Letter to Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy

In this letter, the author suggests that the marchers of the Poor Peoples March should make a surprise visit to the estates of Senator Robert and Edward Kennedy during the historic event.

Letter to the Public of Montgomery, Alabama

The ministerial leaders of Montgomery address the problems of discrimination and segregation within the city's bus system. The ministers form a plan of action to eliminate such practices and attain a equal society for all.

Long Island Baptist Societies Memorial Resolution on MLK

In this memorial resolution, the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Baptist Societies expresses its deep sense of loss at the tragic death of Dr. King. The board acknowledges the debt that is owed to Dr. King and commits to continuing his work.

Mass Meeting Featuring MLK

This document is a program for a mass meeting sponsored by the SCLC and the Raleigh Citizens Association. Dr. King is the principal speaker of this meeting.

Mass Meeting on Washington Poor People's Campaign

This program outlines the structure of a mass meeting led by the SCLC at Vermont Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. Among the speakers in attendance were Rev. Ralph David Abernathy and Dr. King.

Memo From Hosea Williams to SCLC Staff

Hosea Williams, the National Director of Mobilization of the SCLC, sends this memorandum urging members to have their assigned region organized before Dr. King arrives on his People-To-People tour.

Memo from Tom Offenburger to SCLC Field Staff

Tom Offenburger released this memo to members of SCLC's field staff concerning the advertisement of the 1968 Poor People's Campaign.

Memorandum from David M. Wallace to Dora McDonald

David Wallace informs Dora McDonald of contributions made to the SCLC from John H. Johnson, George Jones, and Willard Payne, Sr.

Memorandum from Ralph D. Abernathy to MLK

This memorandum regarding SCLC liabilities, income and bank balances, was sent from Ralph Abernathy to Dr. King.

Memorandum from Ralph D. Abernathy to SCLC Board Members and Executive Staff

Rev. Ralph Abernathy informs the board members and executive staff of SCLC that Dr. King is taking a leave of absence for two months to write his book, "Where Do We Go From Here?" During Dr. King's absence, Rev. Abernathy took over the activities of the SCLC.

Memorandum Regarding California Fund Raising Meeting for SCLC

Dr. King addresses Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy informing him of the transportation cost and hotel expenses for his trip to California.

Memorandum to the SCLC Staff

In a memorandum sent to the SCLC staff, just days before Dr. King's assassination, Tom Offenburger informs members of a meeting Dr. King had with his advisers. The main focus of the meeting was the march in Memphis which turned violent, as well as the future of the Poor People's Campaign. In spite of the violence, there remains plans to go to Washington and correct the economic racism the US faces.

MLK Address to the National Press Club

Dr. King gives an address to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He discusses his recent conviction for marching in Albany, the economic status of the Negro, racial issues, communism, the church, and the practice of nonviolent resistance. He states that the church is the most segregated institution in America. Dr. King also states that racial issues are a national problem and that the goal of the Negro is freedom.

MLK and New York Protest Meeting Speakers

The SCLC releases a statement to the media regarding Dr. King and other Southern leaders trip to New York to address a series of mass protest meetings. This document outlines a schedule of meetings and also announces that Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Actor Harry Belafonte will join the protest.

MLK at his 36th Birthday Celebration

This series of photographs depicts Dr. King celebrating his birthday with family and friends.

MLK Press Conference Birmingham, Alabama

This document contains dialogue during a press conference in Birmingham, Alabama. The reporters asks Dr. King questions regarding plans for the Soviet Union, Washington D.C., and the Civil Rights Movement.

MLK's Funeral Procession Outline

This document outlines the funeral procession of Dr. King and specifies how many people wide the procession will be.

MLK's Own Ticket to the SCLC Banquet

Sometimes you buy your own ticket to your own show!

National Clergymen's Conference on Operation Breadbasket

This schedule for the National Clergymen's Conference on Operation Breadbasket provides a description of the topics to be covered during the convention.

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