And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography

by Ralph David Abernathy




Originally published in 1989, this beautifully written autobiography of the Rev. Dr. Ralph David Abernathy—Martin Luther King Jr.'s partner and eventual successor—not only tells his own story but also expounds on the leaders he knew intimately, including King, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, and Lyndon Johnson, among others. Revealing the planning that went into major protests and the negotiations that brought them to a close, Abernathy chronicles a movement, recalling the bitter defeats they faced, the misery and deaths they suffered. Amidst these struggles, though, he celebrates the victories that integrated communities, gave economic and political power to the disenfranchised, and brought hope to people who had not dreamed of it. Throughout, Abernathy's close relationship with King is central to the story—and to the civil rights movement. In 1956, when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, it was Abernathy who enlisted King to join the protest. Together, they led the landmark bus boycott for 381 days, during which Abernathy’s house was bombed and his church dynamited. From there, the two helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and they were jailed together more than 40 times. Their protests and marches took them all over the South—Selma, Albany, Birmingham—and to Washington and Chicago as well. An unsung hero of his era, Abernathy's inspiring memoir ultimately shows how their victories, and even their setbacks, led to social and legislative changes across the entire country.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781569762790
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/01/2010
Pages: 672
Sales rank: 624,904
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Ralph David Abernathy was an American civil rights leader and Martin Luther King Jr.'s closest friend and associate. Following King's assassination, Abernathy took up the leadership of the SCLC's Poor People's Campaign and led the march on Washington in May 1968.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

1 Little David 1

2 Lay Down My Sword and Shield 32

3 And Study War No More 60

4 The Summer of 1950 87

5 The Montgomery Bus Boycott 131

6 Atlanta 189

7 Albany 201

8 Birmingham 230

9 St. Augustine 282

10 Selma 297

11 Chicago 362

12 Jesse Jackson 400

13 Memphis 412

14 Martin Luther King, Jr. 467

15 Resurrection City 494

16 Charleston 540

15 Resurrection City 494

Epilogue 579

Appendix: My Last Letter to Martin 613

Proclamation 621

Index 622

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