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Andrew Young Interviewee: Atlanta, Georgia, 1981 May 31 [Box 140, Item 3, Side 2]
Topics include: Dorothy Cotton's comments in My Soul Is Rested on women in the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s problems with women, Ella Baker, the decision making processes of Baptist preachers, decision making within SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Converence), King's decision making process, Hosea Williams, the involvement of children in the Birmingham (Alabama) Movement, Jim Lawson, assassination (of Martin Luther King Jr.) in Memphis, other cities during the time of Birmingham, conditions in the Albany (Georgia), Americus jails, Diane Nash, Randolph Blackwell, Young's mayoral campaign, and Fred Shuttlesworth.
00:00 - Tom Dent interviews Andrew Young, who continues to talk about Hosea Williams. SCLC picked its targets carefully, but Williams would get upset at injustice wherever he saw it. This is how the Savannah Movement came into being. 02:30 - Dent asks about the use of young people in the Birmingham Movement. Young says they only permitted those over the age of 16.04:05 - Jim Lawson's role in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. He felt guilty for having invited him to Memphis. Young said no one blamed Lawson, but they felt he should have had people better trained. James Earl Ray had been stalking King; they could not place the burden on any one place or person.05:50 - They talk about the structure of the book. The Birmingham Movement, Savannah, and other movements happened simultaneously. Young went to Savannah because of his relationship with Williams and his work in the citizenship schools. The leadership there was all in jail, and Young saw that as dangerous.08:00 - A lot of training for the people involved in the Movement happened in Birmingham, but this did not happen in Savannah. Williams did not join the SCLC staff until after Birmingham. Jesse Jackson did not join until they went to Chicago in 1966. Bevel joined at the time of the Albany Movement.09:30 - They talk about the conditions in the jails in Albany and Americus. 10:54 - More on the women of the Movement. Diane Nash.12:12 - Dent reads some of Randolph Blackwell's comments about Young, Williams, and Fred Shuttlesworth from a book [My Soul is Rested?]. Young comments on Blackwell getting emotional and on the Movement. His mayoral campaign.17:05 - Fred Shuttlesworth's emotional involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. 18:40 - Young places importance on being 'intellectually above' a situation, and was able to avoid becoming emotionally involved even as a child. He discusses interactions with his family and learning to box.21:15 - More on Shuttlesworth. Young thinks the Movement got too big for him, but it could not have been done without him. Shuttlesworth was mad, feeling he had been ignored by the Kennedys and the press. It was hard to keep up on the national news while they were in Birmingham.[Recording ends 24:26.]
Young, Andrew, 1932-
Civil Rights Movement
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
Tulane University Digital Library
Amistad Research Center
Audiocassette, mono. 16-bit
Box 140, Item 3, 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.