A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Kwame Abernathy came into this world fortified with the kind of passion and spirit that would equip him to handle the slings, arrows and pressures that come with being the child of a minister and civil rights leader. As the youngest child of the union of Mrs. Juanita Jones and Rev. Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, Kwame Abernathy received all that he is the honest way, he inherited it. With an upbringing in a household that stressed honesty, education and dedication to a movement for equality and human rights, Mr. Abernathy has blossomed with each new challenge while still remaining grounded and connected to his community. Born in the first generation following the civil rights movement, Kwame Abernathy has a unique perspective as a progeny of the leadership of the civil rights movement as well as a product of today’s “hip-hop” generation. Mr. Abernathy traveled the world to speaking engagements and press conferences with his father, Dr. Ralph David Abernathy until his death in 1990. Today, he takes those same steps with his mother, Mrs. Juanita Jones Abernathy, as she shares her opinions and experiences at the forefront of the civil rights movement, as one of the last remaining participants in the inner circle from the start of the boycott in Montgomery.
What is in a name? When it was thought that Kwame would be born on July 4th, American Independence Day, his parents chose to give their fifth and final child an African name. Abernathy is named after Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of the African nation of Ghana, and Chief Albert Luthuli, Chief of the Zulu Tribe, President-General of the African National Congress (“ANC”) which led the anti-apartheid movement of South Africa, and the 1960 awardee of the Nobel Prize for Peace. A name means everything, and Kwame Luthuli takes on all challenges and responsibilities associated with being the son of great leaders. Mr. Abernathy was teethed on politics and social consciousness, as the youngest child in a large opinionated family. He received his high school education from Pace Academy, and traveled to Williams College in Williamstown, MA for his undergraduate studies. Abernathy completed his graduate school work at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. He constantly challenges himself not to be defined by a job title, to operate outside of his comfort zone, and to travel the world and learn other cultures. Abernathy uses his acumen to work in various departments and industries including, legal, corporate, entertainment, government, film and television. He is a lifelong member of the West Hunter Street Baptist Church, and board member of the Ralph David and Juanita Jones Abernathy Foundation.