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Andrew Young Interviewee: North Georgia, 1981 July 21 [Box 140, Item 9, Side 1]
Topics include: The decision to take the United Nations job, talks with Carter during transition, talk with Cyrus Vance, reactions from other black politicians, agreements with Carter, first African trip and impressions of leaders, and approach to Zimbabwe to Namibia, Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, FESTAC, and meeting with Agostinho Neto.
00:00 - Tom Dent interviews Andrew Young. They continue their discussion about the election of Jimmy Carter and Young's decision to take a post with the United Nations. Carter had invited Young to a meeting in Atlanta. They discussed Barbara Jordan. Young did not think that she would be interested in a post with the United Nations. Carter said Young was the only person he felt could do what he wanted at the United Nations. Carter thought they could accomplish something if they moved quickly. He wanted to connect with the third world and particularly Africa. He wanted to curtail nuclear weapons.04:00 - Young said he would not say no. It was something he had wanted to do, but had not thought it was the right time. He wanted to clear it with [his wife] Jean. He was concerned about moving to New York and living in the Waldorf Hotel. Carter agreed to talk to Jean. Young wanted to talk to [Secretary of State] Cy Vance.05:50 - Young and Fred Bennett had driven to Plains, GA after Carter was elected to speak with him. They discussed the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. Young told them about how they had harassed Martin Luther King, Jr.08:20 - Young also lobbied for Jordan as the Secretary of Treasury. She, Yvonne Burke, and Young got along very well. Young thought it was important that the Secretary of the Treasury understood politics. He suggested an industrialist like Irwin Miller rather than a banker. Young did not know W. Michael Blumenthal, but thought he fit most of the criteria he wanted to see in a Secretary of the Treasury.11:00 - Young thought Carter could only succeed if he internationalized the economy. Cy Vance understood this, but got bogged down with the Russians. Young wanted to talk to Vance before he accepted the U.N. position. They spoke. Young talked about his contact with the press and his intentions. He had no intent of insubordination. They had no problems.15:40 - Leonard Woodcock was one of Young's candidates for the United Nations. He talked to Carter about him. Carter called Jean and talked to her later that night. Jean was not obstructionist, but needed to be consulted. It was hard on the kids and expensive. They went to Plains, GA for the announcement. 18:38 - Other black politicians and leaders did not want to join the administration. Jesse Hill and Coretta Scott King did not want Young to take the U.N. position. Dent recalls Young's arguments to him at the time. Young felt Africa was important. He sat in on cabinet meetings as U.N. Ambassador. 21:47 - More on Young's discussion with Vance. They agreed on Africa policy. Vance had no problem with Young's relationship with Carter. Young assured him he would discuss everything with Vance first.23:15 - Ambassador Paul Bomani of Tanzania brought Young a letter from President Julius Nyerere inviting him to a meeting between the parties in Zanzibar and Tanzania, who were uniting as a new national party. Shortly after he was sworn in, the Carter sent him a note asking him to make contact with African leaders to find out what they were expecting from the administration.24:40 - Young took his first trip to Africa on the way to Tanzania. He met with 22 African heads of state. He went to Tanzania, Kenya, Zaire, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria and also met with other leaders including Kenneth Kaunda who were visiting the Convention or FESTAC. 26:54 - The message was that Africa wanted to make sure that the Carter administration would not come down on the side of white racism. They felt the Byrd Amendment assisted white racism. They wanted the U.S. to respect U.N. sanctions on Rhodesia. The U.S. could help in the struggle in Namibia.29:17 - The Johnson administration and Arthur Goldberg had set the tone in Namibia. The U.S. had called for free and fair elections in Namibia. Young began to work on the message. No one believed it.[Recording ends 31:32, continues on Side 2.]
Young, Andrew, 1932-
Carter, Jimmy 1924-
New York City (N.Y.)
Tulane University Digital Library
Amistad Research Center
Audiocassette, mono. 16-bit
Box 140, Item 9, 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.