Daughter of civil rights activist recounts growing up during movement

Her father helped Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. make decisions that would change American history.

Daughter of civil rights activist recounts growing up during movement

ST. PETER, Minn. (KEYC) — Donzaleigh Abernathy, the youngest daughter of the American civil rights movement co-founder Rev. Dr. Ralph David, spoke at Gustavus Adolphus College Monday to share what it was like to grow up with civil rights activists.

Abernathy grew up in Montgomery, Alabama and participated in several major civil rights movements marches.

Those included the March on Washington, Selma to Montgomery March for “The Right to Vote” and the Chicago Housing demonstrations.

She has authored Partners to History, Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy and the Civil Rights Movement; she also wrote the play “Birmingham Sunday.”

“I have the benefit of growing up and being free when my great grandparents were slaves. Slaves. It wasn’t that long ago. I stand on the shoulders of my ancestors who were amazing people who suffered profusely for my right to be here today," Abernathy told KEYC News 12.

Her father helped Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. make decisions that would change American history.

Students, like Joshua Slaughter, who were at Tuesday’s event said it’s important to have someone like Abernathy continue the conversation on civil rights.

“It’s important to have this type of event to commemorate and honor the life of Martin Luther King, because he’s one of the founding fathers for civil rights activists in American history," Slaughter said.

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