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Andrew Young Interviewee: North Georgia, 1981 July 21 [Box 140, Item 8, Side 1]
Topics include: Jimmy Carter's presidential election, the 1976 Democratic Convention, Young's role in Carter's campaign and acceptance from the black community, growing interest in Africa policy, the process of organizing the Civil Rights Movement, negotiation versus confrontation as catalysts for social change, Montgomery Bus Boycotts, negotiation tactics, Sanitation Workers Strike in Atlanta, Carter cabinet appointments, offer by Carter of the United Nation position and reaction.
00:00 - Tom Dent interviews Andrew Young. They continue discussing the election of President Jimmy Carter and the beginning of Young's period in the United Nations. Young was surprised he became so prominent on the Carter campaign. Candice Bergen was assigned to him at the 1976 Democratic National Convention as a photojournalist for Time magazine. She was a distraction.04:00 - Young did not want to distract from others in the campaign and he did not think of himself as part of the inner circle. Others included him. He wanted to give guidance but did not want to be part of the administration. Some in the black community resented that Young had been right about Carter. Others tried to get him to make demands on the campaign. Instead, Young would set up meetings with Carter.06:30 - Coleman Young, Coretta King, and Jesse Hill all felt comfortable with Carter. Young was more interested in getting those who had not been involved in the Carter camp involved. The black community was strongest with a diverse base. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed this as well. Young always brought others with him to meet the president. More people meant more accurate information. Jesse Jackson and Vernon welcomed this approach.09:30 - A lot of black leaders did not know how to be part of the team, due to the confrontational attitude of the 1960s. King had not had a confrontational relationship with Presidents Kennedy or Johnson. He promoted an active dialogue between black leadership and the administration. There is a need for both bureaucratic in-fighting and public pronouncements to get programs across.11:30 - Bob Brown was more effective with Nixon than any black man in Carter's White House was. He quietly used to power of the White House to get things through for black people. Young wanted to write Carter's Africa policy, not influence it. Parren Mitchell also wrote policy. In the early days, many did not think that would be possible. They saw Carter as an adversary. 14:36 - A lot of the black leadership did not get active working with Carter until he was ahead in the polls. They did not feel like they were part of his team. Northerners were suspicious of Carter because he was a Southerner. Black people in the North embraced him. They were Southerners who moved north. The black leadership in the North was more comfortable with Kennedy.19:00 - Dent points out that Young himself was the missing link between suspicion of Carter and Carter being accepted. Young says the black church base was a big part of it. Young thinks the endorsement from Young, 'Daddy' King, and Coretta Scott King was vital. Young had expected the other candidates, including Sargent Shriver, to do better. Carter overcame both the black problem and the class problem.22:30 - Dent thinks Carter's 'newness on the scene' worked for him post-Watergate. Young worked to help other black leaders connect with Carter. He set up a meeting. In his presence, even the people who had been hostile were charmed. This often happened.27:45 - The need for both confrontation and negotiation when dealing with the white power structure. Confrontation is only necessary when people refuse to negotiate. Young and Dent discuss how the previous generation handled segregation.[Recording ends 31:35, continues on Side 2.]
Young, Andrew, 1932-
Carter, Jimmy 1924-
Tulane University Digital Library
Amistad Research Center
Audiocassette, mono. 16-bit
Box 140, Item 8, 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.