Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Civil Rights Pioneer Speaks in Pittsburgh

A woman who helped organize the 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama spoke in Pittsburgh today. Juanita Jones Abernathy spoke at PNC's downtown headquarters as part of events for Black History Month. Abernathy distributed fliers to alert black residents of the bus boycott. She is also the widow of the Reverend Ralph Abernathy, who was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery and best friend of Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. Juanita Jones Abernathy says she was taught from a young age to stand up for herself. She says she once left behind more than $100 worth of groceries in a store because a clerk helped a white customer with her bags but refused to help Abernathy. She says young people need to take the ideals upon which the civil rights movement was based and "take them to the next level."

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