Interview with Rev. Andrew Young
QUESTION 41
INTERVIEWER:

WHEN YOU GOT TO ALBANY YOU WERE FAIRLY NEW TO SCLC. HOW DID YOU WORK THERE? WHAT WAS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY?

Rev. Andrew Young:

Well, I was in charge of the Citizenship Education Program in Albany, Georgia. And um, when I went down there it was because ah, Martin had been almost trapped into a movement. Ah, Dr Anderson was his claSSmate from Morehouse who was the leader of the movement, and who was down there with the… the student movement. Ah, and ah, they had asked Martin to come down just to make a speech, and he went only to make a speech.** Ah, but people came from all over the region, and there were two big churches right across the street from each other that were filled and people were all out in the streets in between. Ah, and ah, Dr. Anderson got carried away. And in public asked Martin to demonstrate, to lead the march with him. Ah, and ah, and he agreed. And then he got put in jail. Ah, and with no plan, no thought of what we were going to do.** So it was sort of an emergency to that I went down with Wyatt Walker, ah, just to sort of help anyway that I could. And when we realized that this was going to be something that we were going to have to deal with for a long time, ah, what I did was take the program that I was working with, the Citizenship Education Program, and we began to identify some of the local leadership. And we took them off to Dorchester Center, which was over near Savannah, for a week, ah, to try to train them to come back and put together a real movement n a sense, my role was to help take a step back from the crisis, and help people to realize that non-violence wasn't magic. Ah, that it was a slow, long disciplined process that people had to be trained for, they had to understand, and ah, and so we committed to work with the community. Ah, but nothing really very woody suddenly got very cold, ah, if of Sumpter County, which was the County just north of Albany, ah, not only did he not turn the heat on, he opened the windows on this cold night and put on the fan to pull the cold air in. And it had been hot in the daytime and got suddenly cold at night. And people were really, I mean, I mean people were in lightweight clothing with no blankets, and and no sweaters, and… and we had a sudden freeze on our hands. And so that, the day after that… and… and… I think Martin felt that he needed to get out of jail and get all of those people out of jail with him, and ah come, you know, come back to Albany, ah, and do it right at a later time.