Interview with Ralph Abernathy
QUESTION 8
INTERVIEWER:

There you are, the march has turned violent, the police are putting on their gas masks, and you're about to let one last car in. What do you do?

RALPH ABERNATHY:

At that moment, ah, Bernard Scott Lee, who was Dr. King's, ah, traveling assistant, ah, stopped the car and asked the young lady, ah, if he could use this car to get Dr. Abernathy and Dr. King out of this situation. And ah, and the young lady, ah, agreed, and she got over, and Bernard Lee became our driver. And ah, we were taken, ah, ah, down to the river, ah, the Mississippi River. And ah, and we stopped the, ah, motorcycle policemen at that point, and asked them, if we could use their service to get Dr. King out of, ah, the area. And he said, where do you want to go. And I said, ah, the Peabody Hotel. And he said, We cannot go to the Peabody Hotel, because there's nothing but violence over there. And ah, he said, ah, well, what about the Lorraine Motel. And the policeman said, we cannot go to the Lorraine Motel because, ah, there's nothing but violence over there. And tear gas is everywhere. And he said, well, I will take you, ah, ah, to a place. And undoubtedly they had radioed ahead, because they, he took us to the Headquarters Hotel of the Holiday Inn. Ah, and it is on the banks of the Mississippi River. And, ah, it's a plush hotel. Ah, and they already had waiting for us, ah, a suite, that had a living area and two bedrooms, and one was for Dr. King, and one was for Bernard Lee and myself.