Interview with Rev. Ralph Abernathy

We're moving into Birmingham. One of the things we keep reading, and keep hearing that you folks said about Birmingham was the most segregated city in the South. And we hear that Mississippi was the most violent. So, let me ask you, what really was the worst place in the South?

Rev. Ralph Abernathy:

I would say Mississippi was the worst place in the South. But Birmingham was an awful city. We called it "Bombingham." There had been so many bombings until we changed the name to "Bombingham." We often said, Birmingham was the worst city this side of Johannesburg, South Africa, even back then, during those days. But a whole state? The state of Alabama was not Birmingham, and so, consequently, the whole state of Mississippi was bad. For instance, in Mobile, Alabama it was very, very liberal considered during those days. Huntsville, Alabama was very, very liberal, because these are cities that are made up out of consummate politin— people. People who are constantly coming from the Northern areas of our country, the Eastern areas of the country. And so, as the state of Mississippi was the worst, and as a city, Birmingham as one of the worst cities in the state of Alabama.