And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography

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9781569762790: And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography
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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.

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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.

From Publishers Weekly:

Abernathy's autobiographical account of the birth and struggles of the civil rights movement is inspirational and deeply moving. With Martin Luther King Jr., his closest colleague, he helped organize the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and the 1965 march in Selma, Ala.; he and King went north to Chicago in 1966, where they battled Mayor Richard Daley and found racism as endemic and deep-rooted as in the South. He cradled King in his arms when the latter was assassinated in Memphis. Son of a stern, righth- ous farmer father, Abernathy became a Baptist pastor after fighting in WW II with a segregated platoon. In a voice at once down-to-earth and eloquent, he recounts protests, jailings and bombings in Birmingham, St. Augustine, Washington, Charleston and elsewhere. He defends his support of Reagan's 1980 presidential bid, as well as his support, in the next two elections, for Jesse Jackson. Reading this engrossing, powerful memoir-as-history will force white Americans to confront the legacy of racism. Abernathy conveys a sense of how the civil rights movement discovered its tactics and direction in response to individual situations. Photos.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780060161927: And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography

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ISBN 10:  0060161922 ISBN 13:  9780060161927
Publisher: HarperCollins, 1991
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9780060919863: And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography

Harper..., 1990
Softcover

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