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Andrew Young Interviewee: Atlanta, Georgia, 1981 June 2 [Box 140, Item 5, Side 2]
Topics include: Young's Congressional period, Nixon's Southern strategy, tennis, and South African trip with Arthur Ashe, Bob Green, and the Selma Movement. Young talks about how he talked to policemen during the Civil Rights Movement.
00:00 - Tom Dent interviews Andrew Young. Young talks about discussing a trip to South Africa for the South African Open with tennis player Arthur Ashe. The other black people in the group advised him to go and the whites advised him not to. It was felt that he could handle the situation in South Africa and would not be taken in. Ashe wanted Young to come along, which he did. Bob Green from Michigan State and Ashe's lawyer Michael Cardoza also came along.01:45 - The trip lasted about two weeks and they traveled around the country, including to Johannesburg and Soweto. They met with Robert Sobukwe in Kimberley, South Africa shortly after his release from prison. 02:58 - As a result of the visit, they decided to start sending four South African students per year up to Michigan State. Most of the students got graduate degrees and went back.04:15 - Young knew Bob Green from Selma. He had been a friend of his secretary Edwina Smith. Young and Green bonded quickly. He talks more about the demonstrations in Selma.06:35 - Green had worked to reopen the schools in Prince Edward County. He took a leave of absence from Michigan State to work with SCLC. He took over the Citizenship Program when Young moved on to other responsibilities.08:05 - Green played tennis and was a friend of Ashe.08:50 - Travel in South Africa. The tennis stands were desegregated, and they sat in the tournament director's [Owen Williams] box. Young sat and talked politics with Minister of Foreign Affairs [Hilgard] Muller.10:15 - More on Owen Williams, who ran the tournaments in both South Africa and Atlanta. He and his wife were liberal white South Africans.12:20 - They went to Durban, South Africa on the trip. They drove to KwaZulu, South Africa to the offices of Chief Gatsha Buthelezi. They drove around and everything was white only. They bought food at the supermarket, like they used to in the South.17:00 - Young went into the store. He was good at talking out of bad situations. He talks about the Selma March and how he talked to policemen. 21:00 - SNCC would be more likely to provoke the police. Young got in the middle between police and Willie Ricks.22:30 - Ashe was 'the same cool self' in South Africa. He had to play tennis on schedule and attend meetings as a celebrity and ambassador. He got to the finals of the tournament but did not win. The South African audience was overwhelmingly receptive.[Recording ends 24:19.]
Young, Andrew, 1932-
Soweto (South Africa)
Durban (South Africa)
Tulane University Digital Library
Amistad Research Center
Audiocassette, mono. 16-bit
Box 140, Item 5, 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.