Interview with Rev. Andrew Young
QUESTION 7
INTERVIEWER:

WHAT IN THAT FUNCTION, WHAT WERE YOU TO DO, TO ASSIST THE MOVEMENT, MOVE IT FORWARD.

Rev. Andrew Young:

Well, as the newly appointed Executive Director, I was sort of the link between the field staff and the executive staff, and between what was going on in the field and Martin and Ralph in Atlanta. And most of the field staff, I had worked with and trained, and I had hired most of them, when I was Program Director and working with the citizenship education program, which, incidentally, was a program that the United Church of Christ Board for Homeland Ministry sponsored. And at that time, I was still not on SCLC's payroll. I was still being paid by the Board for Homeland Ministries of the United Church of Christ. So it was, well, I, I saw myself in Selma, as kind of keeping things together. You didn't run SCLC. It was never an organization which gave orders from the top down. I used to say it was like riding herd on a team of wild horses, and I kind of kept them all in the same road. And that was the way, Jim Bevel, and John Lewis, probably were more directly in charge of the day-to-day tactics of Selma, and I was sort of the liaison between them and Martin. We provided the staff services, and backup. We arranged with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to supply legal services. I ended up coordinating the media, to some extent, so that—because the media was a very important part of a nonviolent movement. It was the way you got the message across, and made a local issue a national issue.