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Family reflects on struggles

Dr. William Abernathy Jr. and his wife, Carletta, point out a photo of his uncle, Ralph David Abernathy, standing next to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the day President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law. The Montgomery couple toured the Lowndes Interpretive Center in White Hall on Monday to mark the birthday of the late Dr. King. -- Fred Guarino

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

 

“To remember him and what he stood for, what many people stood for…”

Those were the words of Dr. William Abernathy Jr., who was among those who visited the Lowndes Interpretive Center in White Hall on Monday to mark the birthday of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Abernathy, a retired Montgomery physician who toured the center along with his wife, Carletta, said he is the nephew of the late Ralph David Abernathy, who was Dr. King’s chief aide and closest associate during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

Abernathy and King organized a boycott of the Montgomery bus system and later founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference together, according to Biography.com. Abernathy continued as King’s chief aide and closest adviser until King’s assassination in 1968, after which Abernathy succeeded King as president of the SCLC.

“Because it’s Dr. King’s birthday, we wanted to do one activity significant of his life,” Abernathy said. “But it’s not just a day of relaxation but to remember what… the freedoms that we have now that a price was paid.”