abertnathy-i-tried
“I Tried”

The Rev. Ralph Abernathy was the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL in the early 1950’s. As the leader of the largest black church in the city, it put him squarely in the middle of the civil rights movement’s birth. He would befriend another pastor in town: Martin Luther King Jr. The two would become best friends and the leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He succeeded King as the head of the SCLC after King’s 1968 assassination. Abernathy passed away in 1990 of a blood clot. I found the inscription on his tombstone fitting: “I TRIED.”