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Andrew Young Interviewee: Atlanta, Georgia, 1980 July 8 [Box 138, Item 14, Side 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Topics include:¬æ Albany,Georgia and the Movement structure, the structure of Birmingham workshops, Young in jail in Savannah, Georgia, factors that produced sixties, the Southern Rural Action Project, Albany's Sheriff Pritchard.
00:00 – Tom Dent continues to interview Andrew Young. He talks about his time in Georgia. Young had an office in SCLC when he worked in Dorchester in 1961. The Albany Movement occurred shortly after he arrived. Martin Luther King, Jr. went down to the Albany Movement because Dr. William Anderson had been his classmate at Morehouse. The community filled the churches to hear him speak. Anderson announced that King would be leading a march the next morning without talking to King about it first. They were not prepared and a number of people were arrested. SCLC went in and brought them to Dorchester to train them in voter registration and to help them understand what a nonviolent movement was about. 02:36 – The leaders of the Albany people who had been trained by Young would come to him for advice, although Wyatt Tee Walker was the one in charge. Young and Wyatt had no trouble with that, and gradually more and more people were trained by Young, Dorothy Cotton, and Septima Clark as they anticipated the need for it. Many of these people then took on leadership roles in the local movements and were hired on by SCLC. Young’s relationship with the group evolved into him becoming the Staff Director. 04:30 – He never officially talked to King about joining the SCLC staff; he just began to do whatever was needed. He had been paid by the United Church. Williams was paid by the Presbyterian Church. 07:00 – Young stayed out of jail in Albany and Birmingham, but was caught in Savannah and St. Augustine. Young was not officially part of the Direct Action Movement. King insisted it was important for some of them to stay out of jail. He talks about the jail experience in Savannah and the teenagers who were arrested with him. 9:50 – Young talks about the training workshops they provided for the people involved in the Birmingham Movement. They talked about segregation and nonviolence. The Quakers made a film about Gandhi and NBC made a film on the Nashville Sit-In Movement that they used. The workshops provided an ideological framework for Direct Action and explained how to handle going to jail. They held Bible study three times a day in jail to keep spirits up. 13:30 – Savannah was the first time Young went to jail. None of the kids arrested had gone through the training. They threw their dinner and he had to stop it. He talks about jail in Savannah. 16:40 – Young talks about the goals they had in the 1960s, which were limited and not economic. The new middle class was made up of educated people who fought for change. The Civil Rights Movement was made up of children of the poor and those interested in bourgeois privileges. 19:40 – Absence of human dignity in the South was what rankled most. Young elaborates. People could tolerate poverty back in. The changes brought in by farm subsidies were damaging and drove people north into the cities. When people were no longer dependent on the land owners, African American were more likely to exercise their rights. 25:50 – Southern Rural Action Project, run by Randolph Blackwell, was begun in Crawfordville, GA. African Americans were fired following a boycott. They started the program Aid to Maids. They also had a brick factory in Plains, GA and two more in Alabama. They had a bakery in Perry County, Alabama and another in Green County. 29:20 – Young helped Blackwell raise the money for these projects. Young talks about his involvement with voter registration. [Recording ends 31:52, continues on Side 2.]
Young, Andrew, 1932-Civil rights
Birmingham (Al.)Savannah (Ga.)
Tulane University Digital LibraryAmistad Research Center
Audiocassette, mono. 16-bit
Box 138, Item 14, Side 1, Tom Dent collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Physical rights are retained by the Amistad Research Center. Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. Copyright laws.