Interview with Rev. Ralph Abernathy

On March 7th which later became known as "Bloody Sunday," you and Dr. King were in Atlanta when Hosea Williams called and said, "Listen, I have these people here and they want to march." Could you describe for me the conversation you had with Dr. King about what to do about that situation?

Rev. Ralph Abernathy:

Well, first the conversation with Hosea Williams. Hosea Williams called my church and said to me, Ralph Abernathy, Mr. Pastor, you are the only person that can get Dr. King to let us march. We had advertised that we would march on that particular Sunday, and so consequently, the injunction had come down and we decided to abide by the injunction. But Jose wanted to break the injunction. But Jose wanted to break the injunction, and he told me he had thousands of people. I know he was exaggerating and so I called the Ebenezer Church and asked for Dr. King, and they put Dr. King on and he said, "Ralph, what do you suggest?" and I said, "Well, I would suggest that you let them go on and march." And he said "OK, I have to go into church now and give the service, but you do whatever you want to do." And so consequently I called Jose back and, and so, I informed him to go ahead and march his thousands and thousands of people that he had. And so consequently, when I got out of church I heard on the radio that the people had been brutally beaten, and some and Hosea Williams even, had been hospitalized, and John Lewis, the leader of the march.


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