Goddaughter of Martin Luther King , Jr., Daughter of Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Award-Winning Actress & Writer
Donzaleigh Abernathy is the youngest daughter of the American Civil Rights Movement Co-Founder Rev. Dr. Ralph David and Mrs. Juanita Jones Abernathy. She was born in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement as her Father and his best friend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. established the nonviolent social movement which changed the course of American History. Her life began with the bombing of her parents’ home and her Father’s First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. She and her siblings witnessed and participated in all of the major Civil Rights Movements and Marches, including the Freedom Riders, the March On Washington, the Selma to Montgomery March for “The Right to Vote” and the Chicago Housing Demonstrations. The Abernathy and King children integrated Spring Street Elementary School which led to mass integration of schools in the South in 1965. She witnessed from her home the integral decisions that helped shape American Laws with the creation of the Civil Rights Bill, the Public Accommodations Act, the Voting Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, Affirmative Action, the National Food Stamp Program, the Free Meal Program for Low Income Students and the creation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. In 2004, she authored, Partners To History, Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy and the Civil Rights Movement which was nominated as one of the “Best Books for Young Adults” by the American Library Association. She was a contributing author to the Smithsonian Institute’s book In the Spirit of Martin. Her play Birmingham Sunday is a winner of the Tanne Foundation Award. Read More >
"You are the personification of grace and passion. All of our thanks extend to YOU!! You are the very best of the best, and I am honored and so very humbled and grateful to you. Our students deserved this magical, life-changing opportunity of meeting you, and I'm so glad that you said "Yes" to us! You are an inspiration... You tirelessly attended to every single student, teacher, and parent; and every single one of us was blessed by your wisdom and genuine caring! I can't thank you enough for every treasured second we got to spend with you! You undoubtedly & positively changed the course of many young lives today."
"The presentation was awesome! She really captivated the audience with her pictures and stories. The greatest thing is that she was personable; she stayed in the venue and spoke to every person who wanted to talk to her. I have heard so many great things from my leadership and others!"
"The audience was eating it up! Lots of feedback that it was our best program ever – including from some people that have attended for all 38 years. And Ms. Abernathy is just an absolutely lovely person to work with… so personable and just overflowing with positivity. She brought the story of Rev. King, Rev. Abernathy, and the forming of the Civil Rights movement to life!! Now, with the bar getting set higher and higher each year, what are we going to do next year??"
"I don't even have the words to begin to express how grateful I am for your help in securing Donzaleigh Abernathy for the Armstrong-Branch Lecture. From the moment she confirmed her availability she was more than amicable to the needs of the program. Ms. Abernathy was beyond what I anticipated or expected in a speaker. I heard from several people that this was the BEST A/B lecture they have attended. Her presentation was riveting, inspiring, motivating, and oh so relevant for young and the young at heart. With the absence of the lecture since 2020, Ms. Abernathy gave new life to the event. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
Email Your List
You’ve reached your maximum number of speakers for this list.
Email Your List