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Widow Of Civil Rights Leader Recalls Struggle

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The widow of a key civil rights leader was in Chicago on Monday for a King Day speech at the Union League Club in the Loop.

Juanita Abernathy and her late husband, the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, were Dr. King’s closest friends and allies in the fight for civil rights.

She noted the significance of remembering that struggle on this day when President Obama was inaugurated for a second term.

“He’s standing on my shoulders because had it not been for the civil rights movement, he never could have envisioned becoming president,” she said.

One of the teenagers who listened to Mrs. Abernathy raptly, 16-year-old Ian Katiku, a National Merit scholar at Southland College Prep in Richton Park, agreed that President Obama’s inauguration was a special day to honor Dr. King’s memory.

“It shows that it wasn’t just a fluke the first time. This day is important to have on inauguration day because it shows real progress.”