Interview with Andrew Young, March 17, 1964

Project: Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project

  • Description
  • Play Interview
  • Rights & Request
  • Citation

Interview Summary

Andrew Young (1932- ) is an African American politician who was a civil right activist and pastor. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Young received his Bachelor's of Science in 1951 from Howard University in Washington, D.C. After earning his Master's of Divinity from Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut, in 1955 Young accepted the pastorate at Bethany Congregational Church in Thomasville, Georgia where he began his work with civil rights. In 1961 Young left his position as pastor to work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Atlanta, Georgia organizing nonviolence workshops for potential civil rights leaders. He organized voter registration and desegregation campaigns, worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a trusted aide, and eventually became Executive Director of the SCLC. Young was with Dr. King when he was assassinated in 1968. Young served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1973-1977) as a Georgia State Representative and was appointed as the United States' first African American U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1977-1979) by Jimmy Carter in 1977. Young was elected Mayor of Atlanta in 1981 and re-elected in 1985. Andrew Young describes his early encounters with racism and growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana in a middle-class African American family. He recalls the lack of support middle-class African Americans provided to others less fortunate and remembers his first experience with integrated education at the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. Young describes returning to the South to become pastor at a church in Alabama where he met his wife. He discusses the conflicts that he sees between white American and African American culture and the African American's relationship to Africa. Young also discusses the relationship and similarities and differences between African Americans and whites in the South. He explains the matriarchy of African American family life and how the civil rights movement is changing this. Young mentions his experiences as a civil rights activist in the South and the difficulties of the civil rights movement. He describes what he calls the "schizophrenia" of the segregationist and recalls a "warm" conversation with a police officer who, he later finds out, had just beaten a young African American girl. Young also describes other members of the movement, including Anna Hedgeman and Reverend Milton Galamison. He discusses school segregation, equality in education for African Americans, and the issues surrounding school integration and bussing. Young concludes by describing African American leadership within the civil rights movement and the shift in audience that will occur as the movement progresses.

Interview Accession

2003oh046_rpwcr035

Interviewee Name

Andrew Young

Interviewer Name

Robert Penn Warren

Interview Date

1964-03-17

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Restriction

No Restrictions

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Add this interview to your cart in order to begin the process of requesting access to a copy of and/or permission to reproduce interview(s). 


Young, Andrew Interview by Robert Penn Warren. 17 Mar. 1964. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Young, A. (1964, March 17). Interview by R. P. Warren. Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Young, Andrew, interview by Robert Penn Warren. March 17, 1964, Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt70vt1gj51r


Share