Ralph Abernathy, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Date of Death


Ralph Abernathy

American Civil Rights Movement leader

Date of Birth: 11-Mar-1926

Place of Birth: Linden, Alabama, United States

Date of Death: 17-Apr-1990

Profession: politician, civil rights advocate, theologian, minister, human rights activist

Nationality: United States

Zodiac Sign: Pisces

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About Ralph Abernathy

  • Ralph David Abernathy Sr.
  • (March 11, 1926 – April 17, 1990) was an American civil rights activist and Baptist minister.
  • He was ordained in the Baptist tradition in 1948.
  • As a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, he was a close friend and mentor of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • He collaborated with King to create the Montgomery Improvement Association which led to the Montgomery bus boycott.
  • He also co-founded and was an executive board member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
  • He became president of the SCLC following the assassination of King in 1968, where he led the Poor People's Campaign in Washington, D.C.
  • among other marches and demonstrations for disenfranchised Americans.
  • He also served as an advisory committee member of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE). In 1971, Abernathy addressed the United Nations about world peace.
  • He also assisted in brokering a deal between the FBI and Indian protestors during the Wounded Knee incident of 1973.
  • He retired from his position as President of the SCLC in 1977 and became president emeritus.
  • That year he unsuccessfully ran for the U.S.
  • House of Representatives for the 5th district of Georgia.
  • He later founded the Foundation for Economic Enterprises Development, and he testified before the U.S.
  • Congress in support of extending of the Voting Rights Act in 1982. In 1989, Abernathy wrote And the Walls Came Tumbling Down, a controversial autobiography about his and King's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.
  • He was ridiculed for statements in the book about King's alleged marital infidelities.
  • Abernathy eventually became less active in politics and returned to his work as a minister.
  • He died of heart disease on April 17, 1990.
  • His tombstone is engraved with the words "I tried".

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