Interview with Rev. Andrew Young
QUESTION 63
INTERVIEWER:

OUR SERIES IS DEALING WITH THE YEARS BETWEEN '54 AND '65. WHEN YOU ASSESS THAT TIME SPAN, WHAT DO YOU THINK IN TERMS OF WHAT CIVIL… THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT BROUGHT TO THIS COUNTRY?

Rev. Andrew Young:

The changes in America between '54 and '65 were mainly in the black community itself, and I think even more so in black leadership. We did not know what we were doing in 1954. Ah, didn't have the slightest idea. Martin went to Montgomery ah, to try to find a quiet place to finish his Ph.D. dissertation. Ah, and ah by 1965 he knew not only what American racism was all about, but he'd won a Nobel Prize, ah, he was concerned about the War in Vietnam, and he understood the international implications of non-violence. Ah, there was a new consciousness, black people became a part of the leadership of America. And it's my contention that black people never had to lead… black leaders don't lead black people. Black leaders have to help lead the white coffnunity. You have to interpret the feelings and the focus, uh and the reality of blacks in a particular predicament, and whites in a particular predicament to the majority of people who are not involved in… in any way. And I think Martin could articulate the dilemma, the moral dilemma of racism and segregation, or violence ah, and war, ah, and poverty in a nation that really wanted peace and had the potential for plenty.