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“History will treat me right” by Ralph Abernathy (Black History Month)

“You can kill the dreamer,” he repeatedly told audiences, “but you can’t kill the dream.”

We often say that history is written by winners. Yet in US history, even winners don’t always get to write in their viewpoints. Still, history is made by the Dreamers and their dreams.

In the US, Black History Month likely has its origins in 1926, when historian Carter G. Woodson and Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be “Negro History Week.”

Black History Month was officially recognized in 1970, and many other countries observe Black History Month whether officially or unofficially.

So, who encouraged the dream to continue after the downfall of the dreamer?

We all know of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, but many don’t know of his mentor and best friend, Pastor Ralph Abernathy.

Ralph Abernathy (March 11, 1926 – April 17, 1990) was a pastor, civil right movement activist, who said, “I don’t know what the future may hold, but I know who holds the future.”

Pastor Abernathy empathized with and led the people who were poor, who were treated unfairly, and he walked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Civil Rights Movement, Voting Right Acts, and even as a mediator of Wounded Knee Native American and FBI. He was the man that stood firmly and encouraged the people to keep the dream alive.

On April 17, 1990, he passed away from two blood clots that traveled to his heart and lungs.

He was buried in Lincoln Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia. At Abernathy’s behest, his tomb has the simple inscription: “I TRIED.”

And less than two decades after his death, on January 20, 2009, Barack Obama swore in and became the first African American President, of the United States of America. He went on to serve two terms in the White House.

How he kept the Dream alive, and how, just as he said, Dream couldn’t be killed; we remember Pastor Ralph Abernathy for his contribution to the Dream and its fulfillment.

History will treat you right, Pastor Ralph Abernathy.


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