Ralph Abernathy Unsung Hero, ‘Selma’ Movie

“I went to jail 44 times.
I’ve been beaten and left for dead on the side of the road fighting for freedom…
yet Rosa Parks is better known in history than Ralph David Abernathy.
Why is that?” –Ralph Abernathy

If you remove Rosa Parks from the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. nothing changes, nothing at all.
If you remove Ralph David Abernathy from the life of Dr. King everything changes, and I mean everything!
It was Ralph Abernathy who saw the man who would be King; it was Ralph Abernathy the leading black preacher
in Montgomery, Alabama who put the crown on Martin Luther King’s head and it is he, Ralph David Abernathy who
told every black preacher in Montgomery that Martin Luther King Jr. was the one man to lead them in the protest against
the white bus company.

Dr. King did not want to be the leader of the Rosa Parks Bus Boycott; Dr. King did not want to upset the other
black preachers in Montgomery by jumping ahead of them because we must remember Martin King Jr. was new to Montgomery.
Ralph Abernathy forced Dr. King to accept the role of leader of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Ralph Abernathy shrewedly and sincerely told Dr. King that he alone was Black America’s Moses.
This sealed the deal for Dr. King and from that point on he never questioned his position as the leader
for 22 million Black Americans fighting for their freedom.

I recently saw Ava DuVernay’s new movie ‘Selma’ starring the wonderful David Oyelowo and at the end of the movie I
asked myself what happened to Ralph Abernathy? I am disappointed in Ava DuVernay for not providing the audience more
depth of character to the portrayal of the beloved Ralph Abernathy.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had only two anchors inhis life; Coretta Scott King and Ralph David Abernathy and this remained the case from 1955 up until 1968 when Dr. King was killed.The partnership between Ralph & Martin King is one of the longest in American history. Dr. King and Ralph Abernathy almost always shared the same hotel room and even on the last night of
Dr. King’s life here on earth, he and Ralph Abernathy shared the same hotel room.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last speech he said:
“Ralph Abernathy is my best friend I have in the world.”

The movie, ‘Selma’ does not show us this…why?

The failure of this good film, not great, but this ggod film disturbs me because our young people need to
KNOW, they really need to know how important Ralph David Abernathy is to them and what he did to secure their
freedom,the freedom they take for granted each day of their lives.

You cannot tell a story of Martin Luther King Jr. without telling the story of Ralph David Abernathy.
There is plenty of room for other filmmakers to try and capture the life and times of this great American
hero, Dr. martin Luther King Jr.

Ralph David Abernathy suffered bombings, beatings, and please, please take note I used the plural.

The man was arrested FOURTY-FOUR TIMES!

God damn it!!!!!

If you gonna tell history get it right!

Shortly after Ralph Abernathy died in 1990 I was contacted from some people in New York City to fly up from my home
in Miami and do a new play on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in that Off-Broadway play I portrayed
Ralph David Abernathy and it was the hardest role I have ever played.

I have played Jack Johnson, Hamlet, Othello, Marc Anthony, George Washington Carver, Macbeth to name a few and
Ralph David Abernathy took me places that I never knew existed and I cried for a long, long time and I cry today,
for Him.


One thought on “Ralph Abernathy Unsung Hero, ‘Selma’ Movie

  1. Pingback: Ralph Abernathy Unsung Hero, ‘Selma’ Movie | MICHEAUX PUBLISHING

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