Interview with Bayard Rustin
QUESTION 61
INTERVIEWER:

YOUR OPINION OF RALPH ABERNATHY.

Bayard Rustin:

Well, Ralph Abernathy was a very creative person. He did not have King's philosophy in terms of creating philosophy, in terms of creating it. He did not have King's mind, but what he did have was a kind of stick-to-it-ive-ness and the ability to interpret King to people, and Martin had told me in no uncertain terms that it would be very difficult for him to go to jail without Ralph. And that therefore Ralph was sort of holding Martin King's arms up and interpreting for uneducated people some of the things that Martin himself could not interpret to them. So I think Ralph played a very marvelous game. Ralphs's difficulty was trying to play King after King was assassinated, because he couldn't be King. But he made the effort to, and I think that was his downfall.