Leader of The Faith: 7 Things You Need To Know About Ralph Abernathy

Ralph D. Abernathy was a fierce leader of the faith and a key player in the formation of the civil rights movement alongside Martin Luther King Jr. He was a baptist minister who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was a close adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. We rounded up a few things you need to know about Abernathy and his role not just in the Black church, but on the front lines of the movement.

1.He served in the military, following his service he became an ordained minister while obtaining a math degree from Alabama State College in 1950. The following year he went on to receive a master’s degree in sociology from Atlanta University the following year.

2. Ralf served as a mentored Martin Luther King Jr. when he became a minister at a local Alabama church.

3.In 1955, Ralph and Martin Luther King Jr. founded the Montgomery Improvement Association and set in motion the yearlong Montgomery Bus Boycott. Their actions were triggered by the arrest of Rosa Parks.

4.In 1957, Ralf and King helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

5. Together, Abernathy and King were arrested 17 times.

6. In 1968, Abernathy spearheaded the Poor People’s Campaign, which included a march on Washington which led to the creation of Federal Food Stamps Program.

7. In 1977, Abernathy ran for a seat in the U.S. House Of Representatives.

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