|Girls named Juandalynn||Girls named Donzaleigh|
Where did they come from?
Juandalynn and Donzaleigh Abernathy — the daughters of civil rights activist and Baptist minister Ralph Abernathy (1926-1990).
Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr., co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the late 1950s, following the Montgomery bus boycott (which they helped organize). King was the first president of the SCLC, but Abernathy assumed the role after King was assassinated in April of 1968.
In 1969 and 1970 — when Abernathy was in the spotlight as the new SCLC president — African American magazines like Jet and Ebony ran photos of the Abernathy family, which included Ralph, his wife Juanita, and their middle three children:
- Juandalynn Ralpheda (b. 1954)
- Donzaleigh Avis (b. 1957)
- Ralph David III (b. 1959)
(Their oldest, Ralph David Jr., had died two days after birth in 1953. Their youngest, Kwame Luthuli, wasn’t born until the early 1970s.)
Juandalynn’s first and middle names were clearly inspired by her parents’ names, but I don’t know how Donzaleigh’s name was coined.
What are your thoughts on the names Juandalynn and Donzaleigh? Which one do you like more?
- Douglas, Carlyle C. “Ralph Abernathy: The man who fights to keep King’s dream alive.” Ebony Jan. 1970: 40-50.
- Higgins, Chester. “Ralph Wins Tough Fight for Blacks.” Jet 14 Aug. 1969: 18-24.
- May, Lee. “Ralph Abernathy, Aide to Dr. King, Dies.” Los Angeles Times 18 Apr. 1990.
Image: © 1970 Ebony