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Discussion on Birmingham Campaign [continued], 1980 February 23 [Box 138, Item 2, Side 2]
Dent, Thomas C.
Andrew Young recalls the Birmingham Civil Rights Campaign and his work with Martin Luther King, Jr.
00:00 – Young says they started having trouble with Fred Shuttlesworth when it was time to stop the demonstrations. That was always the hardest part. Shuttlesworth came out of the hospital and said King had no right to reach the agreement. He would not be specific about what he wanted. President Kennedy had already been on the radio talking about federal legislation. King left. There were a lot of young people who wanted to continue demonstrating. 02:35 – SCLC wanted to move the momentum into a voter registration drive. Shuttlesworth wanted to continue the pressure. Young does not think the movement could have been sustained. It was important to shift to political action. They had the breakthrough they set out for in addition to commitment from the President of the United States. 04:40 – They lived up to what they promised. There was a complete turnaround from the business community. Politicians moved more slowly. George Wallace backed down and ignored Birmingham after the business community stood fast. 06:00 – Wyatt Tee Walker was the Executive Director of the SCLC. He laid out the plan of action for Birmingham. He was officially staff director. Young operated under Walker. Staff related to him better than Walker. He was a “boss” and Young was “willing to be a member of a team.” [Recording ends 07:38.]
Young, Andrew, 1932-
Tulane University Digital Library
Amistad Research Center
Audiocassette, mono. 16-bit
Box 138, Item 2, Side 2, Tom Dent collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
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