Interview with Ralph Abernathy
QUESTION 5
INTERVIEWER:

I want to bring you back a little bit, back in time, early in 1967, Dr. King had taken a stand against the war in Vietnam, and there was a lot of national response. What was the shape of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference after that? Was there a clear direction as to where you were going?

RALPH ABERNATHY:

Yes, ah, after Dr. King made the speech in New York at Riverside Church and came out against the war in Vietnam, ah, we were very, very clear as to our direction that we were going here, ah, at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in its national office. We knew that, ah, Dr. King had, ah, ventured into ah, international territory, and had to come out against the war in Vietnam, and ah, but we still had to win the battle against segregation and discrimination here at home. And ah, we could talk about Vietnam, ah, many, many, many miles away. But ah, our foremost and primary concern was to win the right to vote, to eliminate poverty and injustice in all forms right here in the United States of America. And we would address, ah, two issues, at the national level and at the international level.