And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography

Front Cover
Harper & Row, 1989 - Political Science - 638 pages
"[This] is the intensely moving and beautifully written autobiography of one of the civil rights movement's leading lights. The Rev. Dr. Ralph David Abernathy was Joshua to Martin Luther King's Moses--at his side during all the battles and eventually his successor. In 1956 when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus, it was Abernathy who enlisted King to join the protest. Together, they led the landmark bus boycott for 381 days. During this opening campaign of the modern civil rights struggle, Abernathy's house was bombed, his church dynamited. Abernathy and King helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which grew out of the boycott. Dr. King's closest friend and associate, Abernathy was jailed more than forty times along with King in their nonviolent quest. Their protests and marches took them all over the South--Selma, Albany, Birmingham--and to Washington and Chicago as well. Their victories, and even their setbacks, led to social and legislative changes across the entire country. In 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated; he died in Abernathy's arms. During that immensely tense period, Abernathy took up the reins of the nonviolent movement. [This book] tells of Abernathy's private as well as public life--the grandson of a slave and the tenth child born to a strict farming man, Abernathy never left Alabama or experienced racism until he joined the Jim Crow Army during World War II. He writes of his call to the ministry and his heading of student protests at Alabama State University. In addition, Abernathy expounds on the leaders he knew intimately: King, of course, but also Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, and Lyndon Johnson, among others. He reveals the planning that went into the major protests and the negotiations that brought them to a close. He recalls the bitter defeats they faced, the misery and deaths they suffered. He also celebrates the victories that have integrated today's society, given economic and political power to the disenfranchised, and brought hope to people who could not previously afford it. [This book] is the story of a remarkable man and a testimony to remarkable times."--Jacket.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Patbilly - LibraryThing

Who campaigns or demonstrates now for the poor and disenfranchised? Is there still a Poor People's Campaign or plans for another Resurrection City in Washington, DC? What future is there for the poor ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Patbilly - LibraryThing

Who campaigns or demonstrates now for the poor and disenfranchised? Is there still a Poor People's Campaign or plans for another Resurrection City in Washington, DC? What future is there for the poor ... Read full review

Contents

Little David
1
Lay Down My Sword and Shield
32
And Study War No More
60
Copyright

15 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information