Congresswoman Nikema Williams Leads Legislation Establishing West Hunter Street Baptist Church as a National Historic Site

Feb 01, 2023
Press

WASHINGTON Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) introduced the Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. National Historic Site Act, legislation establishing West Hunter Street Baptist Church as a National Historic Site. Rev. Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. began his pastoral service at West Hunter in 1961, serving for 29 years. Congressmen Hank Johnson (GA-04) and Austin Scott (GA-08) are co-leading introduction of the Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. National Historic Site Act. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) will introduce companion legislation in the Senate. 

Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) said: 

“West Hunter Street Baptist Church played an active role in the civil rights movement where Ralph David Abernathy Sr. used his pulpit to lead the call for economic justice and civil rights. I am proud to introduce the Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. National Historic Site Act so future generations can carry on his work. We must honor Reverend Abernathy’s legacy of activism by preserving West Hunter Street Baptist Church, the church he led during the civil rights movement. As conservatives across the country attempt to erase Black history altogether, preserving Black history has never been more urgent.” 

Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) said: 

“We need to showcase the entire history of the Civil Rights Movement, which has not been fully told. The Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. National Historic Site Act will help us tell that full story, and I commend my colleague Rep. Nikema Williams for re-introducing this bill. We deeply believe that it is our duty to preserve these landmarks in order to share their significance – particularly Rev. Abernathy’s significance – with future generations.”

Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) said: 

“I’m honored to join colleagues in establishing the West Hunter Street Baptist Church as a historical site with the National Park Service to formally recognize its impact in the civil rights movement under Dr. Ralph David Abernathy.”

Annette Abernathy, President of the Ralph David Abernathy III Foundation, Inc. said:

“On behalf of the Ralph David Abernathy, III Foundation, Inc., and the entire Abernathy family, we are grateful to have this legislation introduced to commemorate the life, contributions, and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, Sr., for his significant role and leadership of the modern-day Civil Rights Movement. Special acknowledgments to members of the 113th Congress for passing H.R. 4119 approving the Special Resource Study, the National Park Service staff, the Secretary of Interior, Congresswoman Nikema Williams, Senator Jon Ossoff, and all cosponsors of the legislation to create the Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. National Historic Site.”

Click here for the text of the Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. National Historic Site Act

CONTACT: PressGA05@mail.house.gov 

Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District on the exclusive Financial Services Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. She is a champion of voting rights and builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as co-Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams is committed to closing the racial wealth gap and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of your ZIP code or bank account.

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