Why We Can’t Wait

by

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Ralph Abernathy was an activist and leader in the civil rights movement. He worked closely with Dr. King on multiple campaigns for racial equality. A fellow Christian minister and member of the SCLC, he worked alongside Dr. King toward change in the 1950s and ’60s. In 1963, he was heavily involved in the Birmingham campaign for desegregation. He and Dr. King were the first ones to practice civil disobedience after a court order demanding that the movement stop all demonstrations.
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Ralph Abernathy Character Timeline in Why We Can’t Wait

The timeline below shows where the character Ralph Abernathy appears in Why We Can’t Wait. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: Bull Connor’s Birmingham
Unity, Community Organizing, and Leadership Theme Icon
...the coming months. Dr. King traveled with his executive assistant, Wyatt Walker, and friend Ralph Abernathy. Together with other leaders, they tried to decide when would be the best time to... (full context)
Chapter 4: New Day in Birmingham
History, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
Unity, Community Organizing, and Leadership Theme Icon
...Dr. King and his associates held nightly meetings with the Black community. Leaders like Ralph Abernathy and Wyatt Walker spoke at these meetings, as did Dr. King. The gatherings were an... (full context)
Unity, Community Organizing, and Leadership Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Hope Theme Icon
Dr. King, Shuttlesworth, and Abernathy made it very clear to volunteers that they were only welcome in the movement if... (full context)
Unity, Community Organizing, and Leadership Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Hope Theme Icon
Dr. King and Ralph Abernathy planned to be the first ones to practice civil disobedience. The plan was for them... (full context)
History, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
Unity, Community Organizing, and Leadership Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Hope Theme Icon
Dr. King asked Abernathy to join him, and Abernathy didn’t hesitate. The next day, they marched from Zion Hill... (full context)
Unity, Community Organizing, and Leadership Theme Icon
In jail, Dr. King and Abernathy were separated. Dr. King was put into solitary confinement, where he stayed for more than... (full context)
Chapter 6: Black and White Together
Unity, Community Organizing, and Leadership Theme Icon
After eight days in jail, Dr. King and Abernathy were released on bail. They accepted bail so that Dr. King could reconnect with the... (full context)