Rev. Ralph Abernathy (March 11, 1926 – April 17, 1990) was a Baptist minister, civil rights activist, and a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Following King's assassination, he took up the leadership of the SCLC Poor People's Campaign and led the March on Washington, D.C., that had been planned for May 1968.
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- Now all the week long we've gone through that period of preparation, gettin' ourselves ready, askin' God to get us ready, askin' Him to purge us with His discipline and burn us with his fire and cleanse us and make us holy and ready to stand. For when you go down to downtown, you are goin' down there amidst mean and cruel people. Your'e goin' down there 'midst the police force and you've got to have God on your side. So you need to get ready. Ask Him to prepare you as He did Shadrach, Meshach and ABednego. You know, when they went to the fiery furnance, they said to the king, "We will not bow" But God was on their side... Just like God went in the fiery furnace with the three Hebrew boys, God will go with us on whatever operation we decide on. Now, you can't win the battle at home. You got to go to the battlefield. Now when you go to the battlefield, ain't no need to go out there without expectin' to have some casualitites. Somebody will get hurt. I don't know who it will be. It may be me. If it is me, I can only rejoice in the Lord that I had a little part to play... Now nobody can enjoin God. I don't care what kind of injuction the city attorney seeks to get, he cannot enjoin God. This is God's movement. Nobody can enjoin God. There can be no injuction against God. Because Albany does not belong to the Democratic Party of the state of Georgia. Albany does not beong to the Republicans of the state of Georgia. Albany does not belong to Governor Vandiver. Albany does not belong to the white people of the state of Georgia. All-benny belongs to God, for the prophet said: "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulllnes thereof, the world and they that dwell therein". And this is God's world, this is God's All-benny, and God tells us that out of one blood He created all nations that dwell upon the face of this earth."
- In a sermon he gave on 15 December 1961, during the Albany Movement; as quoted in Watters, Pat. 2012. Down to Now: Reflections on the Southern Civil Rights Movement. University of Georgia Press. pp. 202-203.