Interview with Andrew Young


In late 1966 and early 1967, I think Martin Luther King began to have a conscience attack. Even though SCLC had made a public statement against the war, he had not been personally involved and had encouraged Coretta, who had a background in the Peace Movement, to be his spokesperson on the peace issue including the war in Vietnam, and I think she was better informed than he was in some ways, and began to raise questions with him. Well, it was, it was the end of '66 that he pulled together about a dozen books on Vietnam, and took them on vacation with him down to Jamaica. He was also writing on _Trumpets of Conscience_, and, but he would read, after he got too tired to write, he would read three or four hours at night through these books on Vietnam. And he came back from there, I think, really feeling that, as, as he finally said, "The bombs you drop on Vietnam will explode at home." And he was talking about inflation, unemployment, the problems in the cities. And this was a period when Lyndon Johnson was saying we could have both guns and butter, that we didn't have to make a choice between our international security and our domestic stability. And Martin began to realize that that level of aspirations had been so raised in the northern cities by the progress that we were enjoying in the South that it was, it was very difficult to expect northern Blacks in cities, whose lives were not changing, indeed, they were perhaps getting worse, and that something had to be done about it.