Hiding Out in Ralph Abernathy’s Home

We were whisked from the airport to Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s house, and immediately told to keep away from the windows, because knowledge of whites staying in a black home could cause us to be targeted by the Klan.  Rev. Abernathy worked very closely with Martin Luther King, Jr., and because of his civil rights activities, had already had his home bombed.  Threats continued to pour in. Dr. King who had become the Chairman of the Freedom Ride Coordinating Committee, and Rev. Abernathy opened his home to strategy meetings.  The night of our arrival in Montgomery, we held a planning meeting with Drs. King and Abernathy. A group from Yale, including Rev. William Sloan Coffin and a group of divinity students was soon to arrive to join the rides. For maximum effect, it was decided that the Yale group would go as the next group, and Dave Myers and I were to wait until enough volunteers had amassed for the following busload. Meanwhile, Attorney General Kennedy had called out the National Guard to guard the bus stations, and the decision was finally made at the local level that state police would prevent additional major violence. The Yale group was bussed to Jackson, (I believe on Friday 26 May) where they were arrested and bailed out. We were relieved to hear that there was no violence.


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