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Image courtesy of Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives. Photograph by David Hildebrand, 1986.

Audio courtesy of the University of Kentucky.

Andrew Young

Date: 
Mar. 17, 1964
Related Documents: 
Andrew Young
Andrew Young Bio

Andrew Young (born March 12, 1932) is an American politician, diplomat, activist, and pastor from Georgia.  Young graduated from Howard University in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science degree in pre-dentistry.  Rather than pursue dentistry, Young studied Christian ministry at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1955.  Young then served as pastor at Bethany Congregational Church in Thomasville, Georgia.  In 1957, he moved to New York to work for the National Council of Churches, later moving to Atlanta in 1961 to take part in voter registration initiatives targeting black constituents. Young was a friend of Rev. Martin Luther King, and was with him in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968 when King was assassinated. Young was elected to the United States Congress in 1972, 1974, and 1976, before his appointment as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations by President Jimmy Carter in 1977.  Young was elected mayor of Atlanta in 1981 and re-elected in 1985. International Boulevard in Atlanta was re-named Andrew Young International Boulevard for his efforts in bringing the 1996 Summer Olympic Games to Atlanta. 

Image courtesy of Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives. Photograph by David Hildebrand, 1986.

Abstract

 

Young describes growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana in a middle-class family, and his encounters with racism. He recalls that it struck him as odd that his parents and other middle-class blacks did not do more to help less fortunate members of their community, but he states that his parents did protect him from the harshness of segregation in New Orleans. Young remembers his first experience with integrated education at the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. He describes returning to the South to become pastor at a church in Alabama where he met his wife. Young discusses the conflicts that he sees between white American and black American culture. He explains the matriarchy of black family life and how the civil rights movement is changing this. He mentions his experiences as a civil rights activist in the South and the difficulties of the civil rights movement. Young describes what he calls the "schizophrenia" of the segregationist and recalls having a "warm" conversation with a police officer and then finding out that the same officer had just harshly beaten a young black girl. Young also describes other members of the movement, including Anna Hedgeman and Rev. Milton Galamison.

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