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Andrew Young Interviewee: Atlanta, Georgia, 1980 July 8 [Box 138, Item 13, Side 2]
Dent, Thomas C.
Topics include: St. Augustine Movement, SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) staff, and comments on Hosea Williams, James Bevel, Ralph Abernathy, and Wyatt Walker. Mississippi Freedom Summer.
00:00 – The Ancient City Gun Club was the new name for the Ku Klux Klan. Many of the members had been deputized by Sheriff Davis and were part of the mob. Eventually, they stopped trying to intimidate the marchers and arrested them instead. Andrew Young was arrested in St. Augustine. King got him out the same night he was arrested. 00:55 – The St. Augustine Movement was making national news. It was decided that King should come down to speak and meet with the people, but that he should not march. He came and stayed about a week, and then came back again later. 02:30 – The objectives were desegregation of public accommodations, employment of black people in skilled jobs, and an agreement to move ahead with school desegregation. After the court case as decided in their favor and the Ancient City Gun Club was enjoined, they could continue to march and began negotiations with the Attorney General of the State of Florida. They could comply, but wanted to wait until the Civil Rights Bill was signed. They thought a city in turmoil would be a good place to demonstrate compliance of the Civil Rights Bill. After it was signed, they complied. 06:00 – They had a lot of people in the hospital and kept a SCLC chapter in Florida. It was the highest medical bill of any movement. Afterwards, they held a voter registration drive. They were tired. 07:00 – They took a tour of the Mississippi Delta through the Freedom Democratic Party project. It was Young, Martin, Bernard Lee, and James Bevel. Bevel and Hosea Williams stayed out of each other’s way. Bevel was the head of the Mississippi project. 08:38 – Dent asks Young about whether Bob Spike tried to get him to leave SCLC and head up the Mississippi Freedom Summer. Young clarifies that he had been trying to get the churches involved, and Spike offered him the job of the head of the Delta Ministries. He ended up chairing the board, but he did not want to leave SCLC. 09:45 – Young talks about Hosea Williams. His background and how he came to be involved in the Civil Rights Movement. 13:00 – Young protected him from being fired for his involvement with the Civil Rights Movement. Septima Clark and John Calhoun had worked will Williams on voter registration in Savannah, Georgia, which is how Young came to hear about him. He is a tireless worker. Williams was brought on as SCLC Director of Voter Registration when Young became Executive Director. 15:00 – Young and Williams got along, but they did fight. Young outlines the personality conflicts between Williams and the staff. 18:00 – The relationship between Williams and King. The conflict between Williams and Bevel. Young’s relationship with Bevel and Williams. Bevel’s initial concept for the March on Washington. 24:00 – Ralph Abernathy’s relationship with King. 27:10 – Young’s relationship with Abernathy. Young’s relationship with Wyatt Tee Walker. Young says it is difficult for him to talk about these things and Dent encourages him that it is important. The differences in leadership styles between Young and Walker. Young talks about his philosophy of administration, comparing it to basketball. [Recording ends 31:57.]
Young, Andrew, 1932-Civil rights
Tulane University Digital Library
Amistad Research Center
Audiocassette, mono. 16-bit
Box 138, Item 13, Side 2, 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.