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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

Notes from S.B. Well to Ralph Abernathy

S. B. Well forwards Rev. Ralph Abernathy notes about several upcoming and current events pertaining to voter registration in the second and third district of Georgia.

People In Action: "Virginia's Black Belt"

In this article from the New York Amsterdam News, Dr. King describes his expereince on his "People to People" tour through the United States, noting his experience in the "black belt" in Virginia.

People in Action: Unknown Heroes

This New York Amsterdam News article by Dr. King introduces two unknown heroes of the Civil Rights Movement in the South, Esau Jenkins and Billy Fleming. Jenkins taught the riders on his buses how to read and write so they could qualify to vote. This idea was the basis for SCLC's Citizenship School program. Fleming, an undertaker in Clarendon County, South Carolina, was a leader in the Briggs v. Elliott school desegregation lawsuit, the earliest of five suits to be combined in the US Supreme Court?s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Poor People's Campaign

Dr. King is touring the nation to meet poor people in an effort to expose their living conditions. He also wants them to join the campaign to fight for better housing and jobs.

Poor People's Campaign 1968

This is an ad and itinerary for the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.

Poor People's Campaign News

This newsletter shares details regarding the end of a historic meeting of American minority group leaders who declared unanimous support for the Poor People's Campaign in Washington, D.C. The names of organizations and leaders pledging their support are also included.

Postcard Addressed to Rev. Ralph Abernathy

Father Martin Genghty of New York issued this postcard to Rev. Ralph Abernathy following Dr. King's assassination. The holy leader referred to Rev. Abernathy as "the Good Shepherd for his flock."

Prayer Pilgrimage

Various quotes are cited surrounding Dr. King's perception on love, nonviolence, spirituality, Montgomery, and more. Dr. King elaborates on the history of Montgomery and its direct relation to slavery. Ebony Magazine releases the exclusive eight-point "Plan for Freedom" for Montgomery, calling Negros to mobilize for an all-out assault on segregation."The Death of Evil' is also cited which correlates such evil with details from the book of Exodus.

President Kennedy's Stand on Negotiation in Albany

In this statement made from the Albany, Georgia city jail where he was imprisoned, Dr. King expresses appreciation for President Kennedy's support of negotiation between Albany's City Commission and civil rights leaders.

Receipt from the SCLC to Mr. John Henry Kelly IV

This document is a receipt to John Henry Kelly IV for his $1.00 contribution to the SCLC.

Receipt to the Motown Record Corporation

The following receipt was issued by the SCLC to the Motown Record Corporation for their financial contribution.

Report to Agenda Committee

Junius Griffin sends Bill Berry a report and tentative program regarding summer events in Chicago during the 1966 Civil Rights Campaign.

Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy's Statement Following MLK's Assasination

Rev. Abernathy acknowledges the deep pain and anger those in SCLC feel at the senseless taking of Dr. King’s life. They pledge that his work and commitment to nonviolence will continue. They are as much against violence, says Abernathy, as they are against racial and economic injustice. He announces that Mrs. King will join him in leading a march in Memphis in support of the sanitation workers and that the Poor People’s Campaign will proceed. He calls upon Congress to respond to the major loss represented by Dr.

Revolt Without Violence - The Negroes' New Strategy

In this 1960 U.S. News & World Report article, Dr. King discusses the lunch counter sit-in movement spurring across the American South, the nonviolent approach to civil rights demonstrations, and the evolving status of the Negro.

SCLC Agenda's

This is the agenda set out to specific people within the SCLC.

SCLC Annual Financial Report

Ralph David Abernathy, SCLC Financial Secretary and Treasurer, submitted this Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year 1963-1964. The report also includes the estimated budget for 1964-1965.

SCLC Board Meeting

This is the agenda for a board meeting of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Savannah, Georgia.

SCLC Board Meeting Minutes

These minutes from the board meeting of the SCLC detail future directions and past victories, as well as current issues.

SCLC Board Members

This document lists the SCLC's executive board of 53 members.

SCLC Booklet

This booklet describes the programs and actions of the SCLC. It explains why it is a movement organization as well as defining the King-Abernathy tradition.

SCLC Brochure: This is SCLC

SCLC outlines its history, achievements, initiatives and leadership in this brochure.

SCLC Citizenship Workbook

This workbook is an extension of the SCLC Conference Citizenship program "designed to acquaint citizens with the way in which our government is run and to help them meet voting requirements." This resource tool features a number of vocabulary-building, arithmetic, reading comprehension, and spelling exercises to better equip voters with the knowledge to "fight against prejudice and loss of human rights in education."

SCLC Confab Boasts Galaxy of Civil Rights Stars

The SCLC has chosen Birmingham, Alabama as the place for their Sixth Annual Convention. It includes the Annual Freedom Dinner, that will honor the top personalities identified with the Negro struggle. The convention also includes presentations from major authorities on nonviolence.

SCLC Constituent to Rev. Abernathy

This letter, originating from New York City in the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination, is from a supporter who is inquiring about the purchase of items relating to Dr. King's correspondence.

SCLC Continues Economic Withdrawal Against National Industries In Alabama

Featured in this Western Christian Leadership Conference newsletter, is an article by Junius Griffin regarding the SCLC. "SCLC Continues Economic Withdrawal Against National Industries In Alabama," describes the reasons and the situations in which the SCLC had to "use the nonviolent economic campaign as an expression of moral indignation and an appeal to the nation's conscience."

SCLC Duties

This document outlines general responsibilities and specific duties of SCLC officers. Top level members listed include Dr. King, President, Wyatt Tee Walker, Executive Assistant to President, Andrew Young, Program Director, Mrs. Dorothy F. Cotton, Office Manager and Educational Consultant, and Ralph Abernathy, Financial Secretary-Treasurer. The document states that Dr. King's general responsibility as President is to "coordinate and interpret the total program of SCLC."

SCLC Fall Conference Agenda

This is a tentative program for the SCLC's General Fall Conference to be held October 11th through the 13th in 1960. The program included such keynote speakers as Kelley Miller Smith, Joseph E. Lowery, and a freedom rally led by Dr. King, Ralph Abernathy and Fred Shuttlesworth.

SCLC Financial Report

Ralph D. Abernathy releases the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Annual Fiscal Report for 1962-1963.

SCLC Mail Log: January 12, 1968

This mail log lists several contact names and businesses that have had mailing correspondences with the SCLC. It is an example of the manner by which Dr. King and the SCLC handled such a large quantity of incoming mail every day.

SCLC Meeting Agenda

Dr. King notes agenda items to cover with the SCLC staff, including improving organization within the SCLC, finances and upcoming programs.

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