Andrew Young


Andrew Young


Young, Andrew, 1932- --Interviews
African Americans--Economic conditions
Middle class African Americans
College integration--Connecticut--Hartford
African Americans--Education (Higher)
Hartford Theological Seminary
African American families
Whites--Southern States
Police--Southern States
Civil rights workers--Violence against
Galamison, Milton A. (Milton Arthur), 1923-1988
New Orleans (La.)
Hedgeman, Anna Arnold, 1899-1990
Civil rights movements
African Americans--Civil rights
African Americans--Social conditions
New Orleans (La.)--Race relations
African Americans--Race identity
Blacks--Race identity
Southern States--Race relations
School integration
Educational equalization
African Americans--Politics and government
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
African Americans--Relations with Africans
Busing for school integration


Andrew Young (1932- ) is an African American politician who was a civil right activist and pastor. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Young received his Bachelor's of Science in 1951 from Howard University in Washington, D.C. After earning his Master's of Divinity from Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut, in 1955 Young accepted the pastorate at Bethany Congregational Church in Thomasville, Georgia where he began his work with civil rights. In 1961 Young left his position as pastor to work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Atlanta, Georgia organizing nonviolence workshops for potential civil rights leaders. He organized voter registration and desegregation campaigns, worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a trusted aide, and eventually became Executive Director of the SCLC. Young was with Dr. King when he was assassinated in 1968. Young served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1973-1977) as a Georgia State Representative and was appointed as the United States' first African American U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1977-1979) by Jimmy Carter in 1977. Young was elected Mayor of Atlanta in 1981 and re-elected in 1985. Andrew Young describes his early encounters with racism and growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana in a middle-class African American family. He recalls the lack of support middle-class African Americans provided to others less fortunate and remembers his first experience with integrated education at the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. Young describes returning to the South to become pastor at a church in Alabama where he met his wife. He discusses the conflicts that he sees between white American and African American culture and the African American's relationship to Africa. Young also discusses the relationship and similarities and differences between African Americans and whites in the South. He explains the matriarchy of African American family life and how the civil rights movement is changing this. Young mentions his experiences as a civil rights activist in the South and the difficulties of the civil rights movement. He describes what he calls the "schizophrenia" of the segregationist and recalls a "warm" conversation with a police officer who, he later finds out, had just beaten a young African American girl. Young also describes other members of the movement, including Anna Hedgeman and Reverend Milton Galamison. He discusses school segregation, equality in education for African Americans, and the issues surrounding school integration and bussing. Young concludes by describing African American leadership within the civil rights movement and the shift in audience that will occur as the movement progresses.






Robert Penn Warren


Andrew Young

OHMS Object Text

5.1 Interview with Andrew Young, March 17, 1964 2003OH046 RPWCR 035 01:25:16 OHRPWCR Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project RPWCR001 Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries (Exhibit) Young, Andrew, 1932- --Interviews African Americans--Economic conditions Middle class African Americans College integration--Connecticut--Hartford African Americans--Education (Higher) Hartford Theological Seminary African American families Whites--Southern States Police--Southern States Civil rights workers--Violence against Galamison, Milton A. (Milton Arthur), 1923-1988 New Orleans (La.) Hedgeman, Anna Arnold, 1899-1990 Civil rights movements African Americans--Civil rights African Americans--Social conditions Racism New Orleans (La.)--Race relations Anthropology African Americans--Race identity Blacks--Race identity Southern States--Race relations School integration Educational equalization African Americans--Politics and government Nonviolence King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 African Americans--Relations with Africans Busing for school integration Straight College American society National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Urban renewal Democracy Andrew Young Robert Penn Warren 2003oh046_rpwcr035_young_acc001.mp3 1:|28(12)|41(10)|51(11)|62(8)|79(11)|102(5)|117(2)|129(7)|147(11)|169(2)|200(9)|209(6)|220(8)|242(2)|253(4)|263(5)|274(1)|293(3)|304(1)|325(7)|346(1)|363(3)|372(2)|390(5)|408(7)|423(9)|434(5)|446(4)|462(9)|470(8)|488(2)|512(12)|532(3)|550(2)|560(11)|574(11)|595(6)|605(5)|617(3)|636(4)|654(8)|667(3)|681(7)|691(11)|712(3)|720(11)|750(12)|765(12)|782(3)|794(11)|804(11)|815(11)|833(7)|842(12)|863(10)|878(7)|891(11)|916(9)|932(9)|953(2)|967(1)|977(10)|991(7)|999(12)|1022(10)|1035(3)|1048(1)|1065(8)|1075(2)|1100(8)|1110(10)|1119(9)|1134(11)|1149(2)|1162(9)|1185(11)|1195(11)|1214(5)|1226(12)|1244(5)|1253(11)|1269(6)|1292(9)|1303(8)|1326(1) 0 Other audio 0 Growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana Start now, start now. Young discusses growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana in a predominantly white lower class neighborhood with his family being a middle class African American family. He also discusses how African American doctors would rely on Northern contributions to supply money to the local hospital, as well as how middle class African Americans only donate little, if any, money to the civil rights movement. Attitudes ; Bitter experiences ; Children ; Civil rights organization ; Clientele ; Compensation ; Dentists ; Dilemmas ; Doctors ; Economics ; Flint-Goodridge Hospital ; Friends ; High schools ; Lunch ; Membership ; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ; Neighborhoods ; Parents ; Philanthropy ; Prejudices ; Professional people ; Race ; Racial matters ; Responsibility ; Sacrifices ; Segregated hospitals ; Straight College African American families ; African Americans--Economic conditions ; African Americans--Social conditions ; Childhood ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Education ; Middle class African Americans ; New Orleans (La.) ; Segregation. 17 508 Finding his path Some people, such as Mr. Farmer, have said--and he'd written this--that segregation actually, in his case, worked as a spur--a stimulus to achievement. Young discusses how he figured out what he wanted to do with his life. He also talks about meeting his wife and his admiration for his mother-in-law. Achievements ; Activists ; Africa ; Black Bourgeoisie ; Burdens ; Controversy ; Dedication ; Desire ; Europe ; Hartford Seminary ; Incentive ; James Farmer ; Pastors ; Rural South ; Seminary ; Traitors ; Value systems ; Wife African American clergy ; Education ; Integration ; Segregation. 17 768 Assimilating into American culture Let me put a question this way. Young talks about his family and his turning away from his parents' ideas of being the &quot ; right kind of negro&quot ; . He also discusses the African American experience overall and the role of men and women in the civil rights movement. He also discusses the concept of African Americans identifying as Africans and how he personally feels about the topic. A Raisin in the Sun (play) ; African American community ; African American culture ; African mystique ; American society ; Analogy ; Anthropology ; Bewilderment ; Black Muslims ; Churches ; Contributions ; Cultural traditions ; Denominations ; Distrust ; Family life ; Family patterns ; Feminine figures ; Grammar schools ; Impulses ; James Baldwin ; Lorraine Hansberry ; Male dominance ; Matriarchy ; Missionaries ; Pressures ; Psyche ; Rebellion ; Records ; Religious life ; Revolution ; Richard Wright ; Rock 'n' roll ; Seminary ; Suspicion ; Transplants ; Values ; W. E. B Du Bois ; White South Africa ; African American clergy ; African American families ; Assimilation (Sociology) ; Civil rights demonstrations ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Culture. ; Equality. ; Identity (Philosophical concept) ; Integration ; Religion ; Segregation. 17 1613 Authenticity of African American history There's something about, uh, the problem of defining the negro in America, which has taken, uh, one manifestation in the re-writing of negro history. Young addresses Warren's take (via other authors) that African American history is propaganda to give false hope and pride to African Americans. Abolitionists ; Acquaintances ; Arnold Rose ; Careers ; Communists ; Contributions ; Credit ; Delusion ; Frederick Douglass ; Gunnar Myrdal ; Heritage ; Inflation ; Intellectual aristocracy ; Interests ; Propaganda ; Race pride ; Reconstruction ; Self-discovery ; Slave labor ; Slave revolts ; Symphony ; W. E. B. Du Bois African American--History. ; Assimilation (Sociology) ; Identity (Philosophical concept) 17 2040 Commonalities between African Americans and white Southerners Let me you ask you this question. Young compares African Americans and white Southerners to illustrate the idea that the racial problems that are infesting the United States will be settled, first, in the South rather than the North. American machine ; Appreciative ; Charles Evers ; Cosmopolitan ; Courage ; Delicate ; Experiences ; Federal marshals ; Friendship ; Gospel hymns ; Guilt ; Howard University ; Human recognition ; Jails ; Middle class ; Ministers ; Nationalism ; Nonviolence ; Northern whites ; Pastors ; Persons ; Reactions ; Reconciliation ; Respect ; Schools ; Segregationists ; Sensitive ; Settlements ; Society ; Students ; Subcultures ; Trust ; White Southerners African Americans--Social conditions ; Albany (Ga.) ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Race relations ; Religion 17 2645 Social illness in the South --Baldwin has written somewhere within his last book--that the Southern mob-- Young attempts to explain the difference between white individuals acting alone and the actions of a white mob and its leadership. Ambiguity ; Fear ; George Wallace ; James Baldwin ; Police ; Sickness ; Social illness ; Southern mob ; Tennessee Williams ; Will of the Southern white majority African Americans--Social conditions. ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Integration ; Race problems. 17 2818 The white Southerner's fear of losing identity Let me ask you--uh, try this and see how you respond to it. Young discusses the fear that white Southerners have of losing their identity through desegregation. He also talks about abuse of federal law enforcement and the military by past presidents. African American majority ; Defending ; Defensiveness ; Dominant cultures ; Ego ; Fear ; Federal laws ; Judgment ; Mississippi Delta ; Myths ; Political threats ; Roles ; Ross Barnett ; Social functions ; Social sickness ; Symbols ; Symptoms ; Ways of life ; White Citizens Council African Americans--Social conditions ; Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969 ; Identity (Philosophical concept) ; Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 ; Segregation. 17 3129 Integrating schools Let's take something else. Young tries to interpret Reverend Galamison's words about destroying the school system if it is not integrated according to plan. American education ; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Enemies ; Gradualism ; Ideology ; Irresponsible ; Nonviolence ; Presbyterian ministers ; Public education ; Public school systems ; Reverend Milton Galamison ; School boycotts ; Social movements ; Urbanization ; White community African American leadership ; Busing for school integration ; Education ; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 ; New York (N.Y.) ; School integration ; Segregation ; Washington (D.C.) 17 3563 African American representation in state government Just last week, I was sitting with, uh, Dr. Anna Hedgeman, you know, who is just a wonderful woman and who's been a great help to me. Young talks about the representation of African Americans in government for the sake of their involvement in education. He also talks about democracy for all citizens. Blame ; Busing ; Frame of reference ; Housing ; Jobs ; Mayors ; Modern Democracy ; Political structures ; Population ; Problems ; Racial overtones ; Representation ; Responsibility ; Reverend Milton Galamison ; Solutions ; State legislatures ; Symptoms ; Unconstitutional ; Urban renewal Education ; Racism ; Segregation ; Washington (D.C.) 17 3850 Keeping the civil rights movement together My question, uh, is this. Young discusses the process of keeping the civil rights movement together as well as the slogans that can lead leaders of mass movements into traps. 'Negro Movement' ; African American police officers ; Bombings ; Busing ; Creativity ; Direct action ; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Hope ; Law enforcement ; Mass movements ; Mass murders ; New York school system ; Policemen ; Press conference ; Prisoner ; Rallying points ; Rhetoric ; Trap African American leadership ; Birmingham (Ala.)--Race relations ; Civil rights demonstrations ; Civil rights movements--United States ; King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968 ; Slogans 17 4172 Problems of the African American community vs. problems of society You wanted to say something more on the problem beyond integration? Young talks about how the problems that African Americans complain about are the problems of a much larger population as well. Bottom ; City planning ; Courts ; Democracy ; Disfranchisement ; Education ; Employment ; Enemy ; Equal opportunities ; Government contracts ; Overcrowding ; Power ; Problem child ; Problem families ; Representative government ; Richard Russell ; Roman empire ; Socioeconomic structure ; Southern politics ; Unemployment ; Urban Renewal ; Voting rights African Americans--Social conditions ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Discrimination. ; Families. ; Voting 17 4556 Nonviolent action in the North and South Let's turn for a moment to the philosophy of nonviolence. Young discusses the psychology and theology related to nonviolence among African Americans in the civil rights movement. Advantage ; Ark ; Bitterness ; Black Nationalists ; Burden ; Case studies ; Charisma ; Child rearing ; Control ; Danger ; Discipline ; Dr. Kenneth Clark ; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Emotions ; Ethos ; Forgiveness ; Health ; Hostility ; Injustice ; Jail ; Love ; Middle class ; Philosophy ; Psychologists ; Resentment ; Savage ; Sickness ; Spirit ; Stability ; Suffering ; Transformation ; Virtue Civil rights demonstrations ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Communities. ; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 ; Leadership ; Nonviolence 17 Andrew Young (1932- ) is an African American politician who was a civil right activist and pastor. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Young received his Bachelor's of Science in 1951 from Howard University in Washington, D.C. After earning his Master's of Divinity from Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut, in 1955 Young accepted the pastorate at Bethany Congregational Church in Thomasville, Georgia where he began his work with civil rights. In 1961 Young left his position as pastor to work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Atlanta, Georgia organizing nonviolence workshops for potential civil rights leaders. He organized voter registration and desegregation campaigns, worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a trusted aide, and eventually became Executive Director of the SCLC. Young was with Dr. King when he was assassinated in 1968. Young served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1973-1977) as a Georgia State Representative and was appointed as the United States' first African American U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1977-1979) by Jimmy Carter in 1977. Young was elected Mayor of Atlanta in 1981 and re-elected in 1985. Andrew Young describes his early encounters with racism and growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana in a middle-class African American family. He recalls the lack of support middle-class African Americans provided to others less fortunate and remembers his first experience with integrated education at the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. Young describes returning to the South to become pastor at a church in Alabama where he met his wife. He discusses the conflicts that he sees between white American and African American culture and the African American's relationship to Africa. Young also discusses the relationship and similarities and differences between African Americans and whites in the South. He explains the matriarchy of African American family life and how the civil rights movement is changing this. Young mentions his experiences as a civil rights activist in the South and the difficulties of the civil rights movement. He describes what he calls the &quot ; schizophrenia&quot ; of the segregationist and recalls a &quot ; warm&quot ; conversation with a police officer who, he later finds out, had just beaten a young African American girl. Young also describes other members of the movement, including Anna Hedgeman and Reverend Milton Galamison. He discusses school segregation, equality in education for African Americans, and the issues surrounding school integration and bussing. Young concludes by describing African American leadership within the civil rights movement and the shift in audience that will occur as the movement progresses. WARREN: Start now, start now. [Pause in recording.] WARREN: This is a conversation with Mr. Andy Moore-- YOUNG:--Young. WARREN: I&#039 ; m, I&#039 ; m-- YOUNG:--that&#039 ; s all right-- WARREN:--I know an Andy Moore. [Pause in recording.] WARREN: With Mr. Andy Young (laughs) oh, in Atlanta Georgia, March seventeen. Do you remember how or when your present views and attitudes toward active participation in civil rights and, uh, racial matters began, Mr. Young? YOUNG: Well, I guess it is something that comes, as you said before, implied from childhood. I, I grew up in New Orleans. And, uh, well, my father was a dentist. But we lived in a neighborhood where there were very few negro families. In fact, we were, for a long time, we were about the only children in the neighborhood. And the neighborhood was largely white. Uh--and, yet, my folks were the only professional people in the neighborhood. It was a lower income neighborhood, uh, where my father had a dental office. And I think very early in life I, I ran into both the problems of race and class. WARREN: How was his, uh, clientele? Were his patients partly white and partly negro? YOUNG: Well, interestingly enough, they were. They--were largely negro, but at times, they were up to, uh, oh, close to a fifth of his practice was white. And--yet you had, um, a, a strange kind of social dynamic there in that, um, financially we were a little bit better off than the whites in the neighborhood. Um, and they were prejudiced against us because of race. Um, my parents had certain class notions against them. And against the, uh, the negroes who moved into the neighborhood. So, that, um, almost from the time that I was able to get out into the streets by myself--say at six- or seven-years-old--I was caught in, in this kind of dilemma and I think I decided then that--people were people and that, that these external categories of--economics and race were of little or no significance. And, and I was almost always getting spanked by my parents for, uh, playing with the wrong kids. Uh, and at the same time, I think the children in the neighborhood--uh, the white children in the neighborhood, were being spanked by their parents for playing with us. Our yard, our backyard, I think negro parents in the South try to compensate for segregation by, um, really giving their children all the things that they wanted to have. So that we had basketball goals, uh, swings, uh, wading pools, all of this kind of thing. And, um, in our yard--and we always had the football and the baseball and this sort of thing. And the kids coming into the yard, my mother was always, uh, a little reticent about the kind of people that we brought in to play with us, and we insisted--my younger brother and I--almost always on choosing our own friends. And if it came time to have lunch and there weren&#039 ; t too many people there--especially since many of the kids, um, we knew that both parents were working and they didn&#039 ; t have any arrangements for lunch--we would insist on Mother fixing lunch for everybody that was there. Now, um, this was I think the first thing, but then, too, I began to realize as I got a little older that my parents got their education as a result of somebody else&#039 ; s missionary activity and concern. They went to, um, what was then Straight College in New Orleans. And--they were the products of--[telephone rings]--excuse me. [Pause in recording.] WARREN: You were speaking of your parents and Straight College. YOUNG: Yeah, um, and almost all of their education, uh, came--and they talked very affectionately about the, the people from New England that came down and provided an education for them. And it always seemed to me that, uh, that the middle-class negro community in New Orleans that had derived its status from somebody else&#039 ; s sacrifice was, was doing too little itself. So that, uh-- WARREN:--this struck you -- YOUNG:--yeah, that, that--[telephone rings]--oh, God-- [Pause in recording.] YOUNG: Um-hm. Yeah, that-- WARREN:--speaking of sacrifice-- YOUNG:--they, they were--well, for instance, most of their friends were, uh, professional people: doctors, lawyers, um, all of them doing quite well. Most of them in that stage were just beginning to enjoy the affluent life. And they, they seemed to have no concern for, um, for the masses of people in New Orleans. And, um, I remember an incident where, uh, I guess I was in high school then, when the Flint-Goodrich Hospital needed some money. Now most of the doctors, um, and several of the dentists worked there and made most of their money there. Um, and yet they depended almost solely on Northern contributions. WARREN: That&#039 ; s a segregated negro hospital? YOUNG: Yeah, it was a segregated negro hospital. But--they didn&#039 ; t seem to feel any sense of responsibility, I think. And--this, this always bothered me. That, that people should, should--I don&#039 ; t know where I got this notion from. That if, if something is given to you, you have a responsibility to share it and pass it on. WARREN: I understand by reading and by conversation that there is still a great lag between, um, the negro wealth and the negro philanthropy or negro gifts to actual to other forms of, of good, good works, including civil rights. YOUNG: Well, this is very true. These people, for instance, still would give very little if anything to any civil rights movement or--a civil rights organization. They would probably now, um, just in the matter of obligation, take out a, a small membership to the NAACP. And given ten, twenty dollars a year, uh, whereas many of them are in the thirty, forty, fifty thousand dollar a year income bracket. Um, so this, I think it was in, in the negro community that I began to get, get sensitive. Now part of this was because my parents didn&#039 ; t, um, didn&#039 ; t let me really come in contact with the harshness of segregation in New Orleans. They, they did everything possible to protect me from, from any kind of harmful incidents. So, I, I can&#039 ; t really--well, I didn&#039 ; t get, get any bitter experiences in childhood I think that, that many negroes get. But it, um, still it was all around you. WARREN: Yes. YOUNG: Um-hm. WARREN: Some people, for instance, Mr. Farmer has said--now (??) he has written this--that segregation actually in his case worked as spur, a stimulus to achievement. And this is occasionally said. This is no argument for segregation, but. YOUNG: I don&#039 ; t think that this was the case for me at all. Um, in fact, I always resisted this. I always wanted to be myself. And my folks used to try to tell me, &quot ; You&#039 ; re a negro and you can&#039 ; t be just as good as the white person ; you&#039 ; ve got to be better.&quot ; Uh, and this was supposed to be an incentive to study. And, yet, I never studied. (laughs) I did a lot of reading on my own but just as in terms of achievement, in terms of grades. And done of my first integrated school experiences was in seminary, um, in Connecticut-- WARREN:--what seminary was that? YOUNG: Hartford Seminary. WARREN: Hartford, yes. YOUNG: And, um, I can remember being very determined by that, um, that time that I, you know, that I had no burden of the race to carry. I was going to learn what I wanted to learn, um, and do what I wanted to do, and if--I have great questions about education in general and I was going to see that I got the kind of education I wanted. If I didn&#039 ; t get A&#039 ; s, it didn&#039 ; t bother me. WARREN: Have you read lately the controversy between Irving Howe and Ralph Ellison? It involves this point. WARREN: No, I haven&#039 ; t. WARREN: It&#039 ; s quite interesting. YOUNG: Um-hm. WARREN: It&#039 ; s Ralph&#039 ; s attitude too, you see. YOUNG: Yeah. WARREN: He refuses to be put in the position of being traitor to, uh, the negro because he is not an activist. Because he wants to be a writer rather than a sign-carrier. YOUNG: Um-hm, sure, um-hm. WARREN: He in fact calls Irving Howe another kind of Bilbo. Wants to put him in his place. YOUNG: Um-hm, yeah. WARREN: (??) for it. That part of it, you see. YOUNG: Um-hm, um-hm. WARREN: I didn&#039 ; t want to get off the part, though. YOUNG: But, I think that, um, that I never really knew what I wanted to do. My folks tried to mold me into their professional pattern and I, I resent--I rebelled against the black bourgeois, um, value system almost from as far back as I can remember. And it was really almost, uh, after I got through college at Howard University that I finally began to shape some value structure of my own and--choose a direction. I think, um, it first came out as--well, as a desire to work in Africa in some way. And then yet I went South to pastor a little church in Alabama, met my wife, and she was--concerned about staying in the South. This was my first experience in the rural South. Her mother had taught in a one-room schoolhouse, um, most of her life, and her mother was one of these exceptionally, I mean, really brilliant women that, um, was completely self-educated practically. Um, I remember we went to Europe, um, and, uh, her mother--just a small town, three thousand Alabama one-room schoolteacher--sat down. And without looking at a note or a book or anything, um, looked at our itinerary where we were going, and just listed off the places that we should be sure to see, um, and which museums and certain art objects were. And, uh, somehow she acquired a, a real general education and dedication to education. And my wife picked this up. And so it was her desire to, uh, to work in the South. And this is where I think, uh, I began to switch in terms of working, working here. WARREN: Let me put a question this way: you remember in reading DuBois, and he talks long ago about the split in the negro psyche. Or the possible split, at least for some people. On the on hand, the impulse- -to draw toward an African mystique of some kind. A sense of the negro tradition, a negro, negro, uh, culture, uh, a negro folk-sense, and, uh, a blood sense. YOUNG: Yeah. WARREN: On the other hand, the pull toward Western European Judaic- Christian American society and, and values with--a pull to integrate and perhaps to be totally absorbed even by blood in that, that toward in the end. Uh, this being, uh, some people take as treason to a deeper obligation. YOUNG: Sure. WARREN: This ever been a problem to you, when you think of Africa-- YOUNG:--always, yeah, always. WARREN: That&#039 ; s a real problem? Does it remain a problem? YOUNG: Yeah, in fact, I think it&#039 ; s been pretty nearly, I&#039 ; m, I&#039 ; m just getting to the point where I&#039 ; m beginning to be able to resolve it a little. But, for instance, when I got to Seminary, I think I did a lot of work in anthropology, um, mainly with this in mind. Now, with me it came from my folks, uh, were the assimilationists. Um, they didn&#039 ; t like spirituals. Uh, no blues. (laughs) Anything negroid they shied away from. So, it started in rebellion against this. Because, um, my friends--well, um, rock and roll hit the negro community a good ten, twenty years--well, it was always in some form. So that this is where we first began to have the clash, when I began to choose--well, in grammar school they sent me to all the New Orleans Symphony children&#039 ; s concerts on Saturday. Um, I was expected to do all of this kind of thing and, and didn&#039 ; t--enjoyed it, learned a lot from it. But when I also wanted to go, uh, you know, began to buy the rock and roll blues records, uh, they somehow said that this was, was cheap and I shouldn&#039 ; t bother with this. Well, we fought over that score and I won out. I think that that&#039 ; s where, um, um, I began to, to experience a conflict. Now, um, I, I haven&#039 ; t--I don&#039 ; t know whether I can articulate it, but this is one of the things that you say what you really want to do. Um, I think that, um, one of these days when I get around to writing something, this is, um, this is one of the things that I&#039 ; d like to experiment with and, and try to put down in some way, or try to get, get organized for myself of the role--I take an analogy of or out of experiences with the work of the churches, um, that the various denominations really tend to enrich religious life, because each one came into being around a witness to a specific religious insight. Now, I think you lose something when you just kind of water it down and get a least common denominator religious experience. That you get a much deeper religious experience when you begin to appreciate the contributions of these different denominational bodies. Now, I think of same thing in terms of cultural traditions. That, that the negro cultural experience is real. And, and it represents an authentic attempt to cope with, with what their existence was at the time. WARREN: In America now? YOUNG: In America, yes-- WARREN:--negro culture experience in America. YOUNG: That&#039 ; s right. And this is, um, I think that--well, the concept of family life that, that was derived under segregation necessarily had to be stronger. I think this is what--what&#039 ; s her name, Raisin in the Sun. Lorraine Hansberry was trying to bring out, um, in the mother that Claudia McNeil played. WARREN: But it&#039 ; s a matriarchal world, isn&#039 ; t it? YOUNG: Yeah. But, um, that in bringing, in bringing this that I don&#039 ; t know that--well, you relate this to, uh, to the white South where women were put on a pedestal and had almost no power or no role in family. No strong role. Um, and I would say that--I don&#039 ; t want to throw out this strong matriarchy and accept the American middle road. That I think that, um, that the pressures of twentieth-century life demand a strong matriarchy but they also demand a man who, who is able to, uh, in spite of the strength of the feminine figure, uh, is able to, um, maintain at least some equality. That, that real equality of the sexes, um, in America is possibly more possible, um, under the negroes experience now. WARREN: I know a psychiatrist, a, a negro psychiatrist and analyst in Connecticut who has said to me that this represents in one sense, the negro revolution, a negro revolt. An affirmation to the male principle-- YOUNG:--that&#039 ; s true, um-hm-- WARREN:--after the hundreds of years of matriarchy-- YOUNG:--well, a man has to-- WARREN:--a man&#039 ; s business. YOUNG: Um-hm, and a man has to, um, has to change the society. Women can maintain and strengthen, but--the protest role, the, the role of shaping the world, um, the creative role in a, in a social and political sense, I think is the man&#039 ; s. And I think that the movement is giving men an opportunity to, to really exercise this and find themselves. They, uh-- WARREN:--excuse me. This sense, then the general movement corresponds to the Black Muslim principles, on that one point. YOUNG: Yes, I&#039 ; d say that--the Black Muslims--of course the Black Muslims are trying to transplant something--a of male dominance from the East. WARREN: Yes, the motive is different, but it works out the same where the male takes a new role in negro life, that right? YOUNG: That--yeah, now only in that point are they the same. WARREN: Only from that point. YOUNG: That the male takes a new role but the women in the movement are not relegated to an inferior role. That the relationships that are developing between men and women. For instance, we had it when my wife decided that she wanted to go to jail. She didn&#039 ; t actually go but she did take part. I mean she wasn&#039 ; t arrested but she did decide that it wasn&#039 ; t enough for a man just to be taking part in the demonstrations ; that she had some role to play also. WARREN: Do you have children? YOUNG: Yeah, three, um-hm. This is the family over here in the corner. Um--we are together, um, cultivating a new family pattern. But, um, but not imitating any more. Now, um, we&#039 ; re drawing very heavily on, um, on the little anthropology that we know and using, um, the experience of other cultures including and maybe mainly African culture as--well, at least, um, a buffering point. WARREN: Could you be specific on that, using what from what-- YOUNG:--yeah, um, I don&#039 ; t know. [Pause in recording.] WARREN: For instance-- YOUNG:--for instance, um, my wife&#039 ; s read Sex and Temperament, Margaret Mead stuff. And--Jomo Kenyatta&#039 ; s Facing Mount Kenya on, on patterns of family life. Um, she&#039 ; s had some anthropology also. So, that, um, whenever it comes time to face a situation, um, we&#039 ; re not really able anymore to accept what we feel to be a nineteenth-century, um, Western European notion of family life. Now we really don&#039 ; t know really what we&#039 ; re experiment, what we have got. But rather than trying to mold our family into the typical patterns that, uh, is expected, a man to go out and do the work and the women to raise the children. If she happens to get an education--she still uses her education to raise children, or- -now, um, my wife right now is teaching school. Um--oh, gosh, I guess I&#039 ; m, I&#039 ; m not ready to talk about this right now-- WARREN:--all right, all right. YOUNG: Mainly because I, I just don&#039 ; t have it firmly enough in my mind-- WARREN:--all right, let&#039 ; s, uh, talk about something else. Let me give you a quote from Richard Wright on Africa, which you may know already. On his visit to Africa. &quot ; [But,] am I African?&quot ; &quot ; Had some of my ancestors sold their relatives to white men.&quot ; That he found a belief in magic that was not confined to the uneducated, the general culture uncongenial, and quoting, &quot ; I found that the African was an oblique, hard to know man, who seems to like to take a childish pride in trying to create a sense of bewilderment in the mind of strangers.&quot ; YOUNG: Um-hm. WARREN: &quot ; I found the Africans invariably almost underestimating the person with whom he was dealing, too much confidence in his basic reply,&quot ; and so forth ; universal suspicion, distrust, inferiority in politics. This is the shock of acquiring the African history, isn&#039 ; t it? YOUNG: Yeah. WARREN: Some shock involved, isn&#039 ; t it? YOUNG: Yeah, and I think that we decided too, that we were not Africans. As such, but that-- WARREN:--did you go there? YOUNG: No, I haven&#039 ; t. But, um, many of our friendships in college and in seminary, um, were, um, with Africans. And while there is a kinship, I think that, that, we are, or I am, ready to accept the role of being a sort of bridge person between Africa and the West. Uh, in that we almost don&#039 ; t belong anywhere but we do, but we can relate anywhere. I mean, we don&#039 ; t, we can/can&#039 ; t (??) relate everywhere. I guess this is the--that I don&#039 ; t really feel, you know, completely accepted and at home here, and I know that I wouldn&#039 ; t be--this is one of the things that helped us decide, uh, not to go to Africa as missionaries in any sense--that we realized that we wouldn&#039 ; t be really accepted as Africans and that, uh, that our role and our place was in a sense in America, you know. That, and there&#039 ; s no, and I would, I think that Richard Wright was trying to almost escape from being an American to a certain extent. And, and I think we learned a little from that. WARREN: He was shocked not to be accepted there because it was a real shock to him because he expected something else. YOUNG: Yes, and so we profited by that experience. In fact, Baldwin&#039 ; s experience of running to Europe and trying to escape, um, we experienced a little bit in the summer. And I think pretty much decided that, um, while you were accepted, um, in Paris, maybe, the Algerians weren&#039 ; t--so you got, you just as well go back and fight your problem. And that America is maybe the place where the world will learn to live as one. That we have every strain and tradition here. And that, uh, that by fighting out the personal as well as the political issues that, that keep men apart in America, we may be building the, the kinds of bridges that will enable people in the rest of the world to live together. WARREN: There&#039 ; s something about, um, the problem of defining the negro in America which has taken one manifestation in the rewriting of negro history. YOUNG: Um-hm. WARREN: Now, we know something about that. I don&#039 ; t mean merely American negro history but the negro history outside. Let me read you a little passage: &quot ; The whole tendency of negro history, not as history but as used as propaganda, is to encourage the average negro to escape reality, the actual achievements, and the actual failures of the present. Although the movement consciously tends to build race pride, it may also cause unconsciously the recognition that group pride may be partly only delusion and therefore results in a devaluation of the negroes by themselves for being forced to resort to a self-deception.&quot ; This is from Arnold Rose, Myrdal&#039 ; s collaborator. YOUNG: Yup. WARREN: I had to read a long passage. Maybe it isn&#039 ; t all--comes over. YOUNG: No. Well, I don&#039 ; t know whether I doubt it, exactly, but, um, I think that my immediate reaction was that, uh, I wouldn&#039 ; t, that I think that there&#039 ; s something in negro history-- WARREN:--clearly, there clearly is. Nobody&#039 ; s doubting that. YOUNG: Yes--for instance, this was part of my--my self-discovery, too. That nobody told me about Reconstruction. Nobody even introduced me to DuBois until I was, was grown. And that, that there was a conscious effort in American history to devaluate whatever contribution the negro has made and--this is because they don&#039 ; t appreciate, uh, well, we, we tend to have a kind of, uh, intellectual aristocracy in our, among our historians anyway. The contributions of masses of, of people, of laboring people, of slave labor even to the whole economy in American structure. If you even talk about it or think about your communists. Now--I think that I&#039 ; ve, I&#039 ; ve tried to use negro history it probably hasn&#039 ; t been as propaganda. Because I never knew any negro that really thought/fought (??) for himself. I, I never, nobody ever told me the influence that Frederick Douglass may have had on Lincoln, for instance. Or on the whole period of--the whole abolitionist, abolitionist period. And I think that these are things that, um, that we are using to try to, uh, let negroes know that they are not completely without roots and heritage and connection. WARREN: Let&#039 ; s say all history works to in one way or another to condition our activities in the present and our feelings about the present. I don&#039 ; t think Rose, on the record, would be interested in devaluating the, uh, negro contribution. YOUNG: Um-hm. WARREN: I don&#039 ; t know him, but I assume--I take it as face value. But take a book like Africa Slave Revolts, do you know that book? YOUNG: Um-hm. I haven&#039 ; t read it, but I&#039 ; ve looked at it. WARREN: Where some two hundred odd revolts--been there. YOUNG: This, uh, book I didn&#039 ; t yet until a year or two ago. WARREN: And now, uh, some critics of the book will say that there are only three revolts (??), that this is an attempt to inflate something. You&#039 ; ll find individuals or two, three people in desperate, uh, personal rebellion, but no organized revolt in the three famous ones. And you find a lot of scares, but not the real thing--and not the organized revolt. This is the case of an inflated piece of history-- YOUNG:--oh, yes, absolutely-- WARREN:--which is damaged by its, uh, inflation and actually does not do the negro, uh, some of the credit he deserves. YOUNG: The problem there, though, is that no negroes have read (??). [Pause in recording.] YOUNG: I don&#039 ; t know--I can count on my hands the people, um, who have, have really, um, or even know who he is or that he exists that I know. WARREN: Now why is that? Now you have a range of selective acquaintances. YOUNG: Yeah, um. One thing is they, uh, almost completely rejected their own heritage back in that period. That-- WARREN:--even your own generation? YOUNG: Yeah, yeah, very much so. Until, um, well, we&#039 ; re just beginning to read DuBois even. WARREN: Really? YOUNG: Except when it&#039 ; s assigned by, by school. Now, um, negroes generally have had no interest in their own history, I think. Until, well I&#039 ; d say almost until 1960, as for as I--except the, the few people that, um, have really made a career of negro history, um. WARREN: Like Wilson (??) you mean? A few like that. YOUNG: Yes, that&#039 ; s right. The, the masses of negroes were, were consciously I think trying to assimilate, and they wanted to get as far away from, um--their past because they wanted to become white. A friend of mine was saying that--he sat down very diligently, learning every movement of every symphony. That he, he felt that he had to know Shakespeare thoroughly, and had to memorize quotations and things like this, under the, um, notion that when he had done this, he would be completely accepted in a white world. WARREN: This is the end of tape 1 and the conversation with Mr. Andy Young. See tape 2. [Tape 1 ends ; tape 2 begins.] WARREN: Let me ask you this question. Do you see any parallel between the situation of the negro, a member of what they call a subculture- -vis-a-vis the great American machine--and the situation of the white Southerner who is a member of a subculture, a defeated nationalism, lived in a special, uh, box of attitudes and, uh, a special philosophy and special prejudices--him, vis-a-vis the big American machine--do you see any parallel there? YOUNG: Well, I guess it&#039 ; s probably, um, very similar. With the experience, I think people&#039 ; s reactions to it are, are similar also. That you get Southerners that, uh, that are new very cosmopolitan, white Southerners that want to completely reject the Southern experience. And you get the negro middle class that wants to completely reject his, his negro experience from slavery. WARREN: As I understood you to say earlier, you, uh, in favor of a kind of cultural pluralism, which is not, uh, competitive but appreciative, is that the idea? YOUNG: Yeah, I think that&#039 ; s a very good way of expressing it, and I think that, uh, that the Southerners--both white and negro--probably have a lot more in common than they realize. That right now it&#039 ; s the structures of our society which segregated us on the basis of race that really keep us from getting to know the fact that, that we probably are much closer to one another than, than anybody else in America-- WARREN:--a young lady-- YOUNG:--especially because of this. WARREN: Excuse me, a young lady with whom I was talking at Howard some time back said to me, that she had more optimism for the Southern settlement than for the Northern settlement between the races on the account that there&#039 ; s a shared history--the same land, the people have lived through, lived on, and the same as they have lived through--even though you might now find pistol point (??). YOUNG: Um-hm, yeah. WARREN: Beyond that, the possibility of a human recognition, that she couldn&#039 ; t understand, uh, she said, in Harlem, or Detroit, or Chicago. She being raised on a, a Southern farm. YOUNG: Yeah, I think this would be the general experience of most, most negroes who move North--and certainly mine. In the days when I was in the North in school, uh, most of my friends--since there were very few negroes on the campus--turned out to be white Southerners. And we found that we had a great deal more in common, uh, than say I did with many of the Northern students. Uh, I think this is true in the movement. We have watched, uh, um, Northern whites come down and try to work with us. But they almost never really get along as well as the Southern whites who are working with us. That, um, you really--well, for instance, just in the matter of the, the religious, uh, uh, ethos that we share in the South. Um, the old gospel hymns, um, out of which--and spirituals, out of which many of the freedom songs come. Um, white Southerners can tend to, sing these a little better. Um, they feel them a little more. They generally, um, it&#039 ; s much easier for them once they become liberated intellectually and socially to, uh, become more deeply and personally involved in the movement. WARREN: Charles Evers, uh, was talking to me several weeks ago and I asked him why he didn&#039 ; t, didn&#039 ; t leave Mississippi. He said that, &quot ; We&#039 ; re going to win there because,&quot ; he said, &quot ; these Mississippians are (??) the worst segregationists, is raising a some sort of a simple culture, which, uh, insists on respecting courage. Blank courage. Brute courage.&quot ; He said the negro shows this and stands up with it. This is a grudging respect, even with the dislike may come out of it, but said respect is there. There&#039 ; s a basis, uh, for something to go on. Second, he said, this segregationist, once he crosses the line, uh, to deal with you with the negro, he&#039 ; s not going to lie because he&#039 ; s crossed the line already inside himself. YOUNG: Yeah. WARREN: Said there&#039 ; s some basis for a, for a reconciliation on those two lines. YOUNG: Um-hm, yeah. WARREN: Does that make sense to you? YOUNG: Yeah, it makes a great deal of sense ; I hadn&#039 ; t thought of it that way. But I think that, um, our experience, even in the bitterest situations, we tend to put this, uh, trust in nonviolence to overcome, uh, this barrier that in Albany, Georgia, for instance, in spite of the fact that we are at war--in terms of politics and social structures- -Chief Pritchard and I had a very close, personal friendship going through this time. WARREN: How did that work out, literally? Specifically? YOUNG: Well, I almost became his counselor and his pastor over the tremendous guilt that he had over being involved in, in perpetuating a police state. And every time that I&#039 ; d go into jail, uh, he&#039 ; d want to call me in and, and just, just talk some. And we found it quite possible to-- WARREN:--what&#039 ; d he say, what&#039 ; d he say? YOUNG: Um, oh, things like, um. For instance, when the seventy-five ministers came, went to jail, he talked a good deal about, &quot ; Oh, I don&#039 ; t want to--I don&#039 ; t want to put men of God in jail.&quot ; He said, &quot ; I&#039 ; m no less sincere about that, what they&#039 ; re doing.&quot ; Um, he said, &quot ; And, and you all don&#039 ; t know how it makes me feel to have to do this.&quot ; He even asked if we could get Dr. King to intercede, um, to get him a job as a Federal Marshall, so that he could get out of this system. WARREN: Join the other sides. YOUNG: Yeah, well. And, um, it was, um--now, I think that at the same time, um, I had no illusions about his being, um, very much a part of this system. And I think that that this represented not a complete--well, it represented a genuine schizophrenia on his part. I would, I would think that even Adolf Eichmann would be probably a rather personable individual, if you&#039 ; d sit down with him. Um, I remember in, in Mississippi going to get some of our staff members out of jail, um, who had been beaten up. And when I went there, I started a conversation with the sheriff and the chief of police. And we were able to relate very warmly as persons. And we talked about our families and we joked about the, the weather and, um, and normal conversational banter. And I was convinced that these were real Christian gentlemen. And yet here was a negro girl on our staff who, uh, is one of the most sensitive and--delicate creatures I know, that they had beaten for an hour and a half with blackjacks. WARREN: Same persons? YOUNG: The same persons. And it shocked me when I came out and saw her all--when she came out of jail and her face was all bruised, and--her eyes swollen and scars and blood still in her hair. And, um, I asked her who beat her and she said, &quot ; Those two standing, that you were talking to right there.&quot ; Now, now, this is the problem we really are fighting. That--the Southerner, who is a very warm and personable human being, when caught in this system, responds almost to a kind of mob psychosis. We&#039 ; ve, we&#039 ; ve had some sort of experience where, you know, they almost don&#039 ; t face us. It&#039 ; s almost like, like a man disassociates himself from his conscience when he goes to war. Um, in their dealings with negroes, they are perpetuating a sacred way of life, so that anything they have to do to perpetuate this sacred way of life is, is okay. Now, if we can ever get the white Southerner, uh, and the negro Southerner to be free of this system which makes them respond this way, I think that certainly we will have, uh, much more rapport and much better climate in the South than we have in the North. WARREN: Baldwin has written somewhere. I think it is in his last book- -that the Southern mob--the people actually on the street beating up negroes, or perhaps the police in their jails cells--do not represent the will of the Southern white majority. YOUNG: Um-hm. WARREN: Now, this question evokes all sorts of, this statement evokes all sorts of different responses, as you can well imagine. How do you respond to it? YOUNG: Well, it&#039 ; s, um, I can say that that&#039 ; s true, but at the same time I can say that it&#039 ; s not quite true. That, um, the problem of the white majority in the South is that, that it has no guts and no integrity left, I think. WARREN: No leadership. YOUNG: Yeah. That, um, Alabama responds to George Wallace. And this means that Alabama who elects George Wallace, uh, has to bear the responsibility for his inflammatory speeches, which, which get children killed and which create a climate where--will create a police state. Now, cornering these people individually, you, you get something completely different. But in terms of their fear of, of integration, whether this kind of, of paranoia, or--I don&#039 ; t know. I keep, when you were saying this, I thought of--well, several things that have been written, you know, that show this, this kind of ambiguity. The- -pleasant, personable, humorous Southerner, uh, who is also capable of great sadism. WARREN: True. YOUNG: Yeah. And I don&#039 ; t know what the source of that sickness is. Now many people have analyzed it. I mean have described it. But I don&#039 ; t know whether I&#039 ; ve really come up with somebody that has been able to, um, to really diagnose it, uh, the nature of this, this social illness. Baldwin talks (??)-- WARREN:--let met try-- YOUNG: Baldwin and Sartre have developed the sexual angle. WARREN: Well, they&#039 ; re outsiders ; they don&#039 ; t know anything about the South, neither one of them. YOUNG: Well, that&#039 ; s true. WARREN: Either one of them. Don&#039 ; t know a thing (??). YOUNG: Well, Tennessee Williams, too, you know, pulls this, this in a great deal. WARREN: It&#039 ; s an element, clearly, but not that&#039 ; s not. YOUNG: Yeah, yeah. WARREN: Let me ask you, try this and see how you respond to it. I don&#039 ; t know how much money to put on this card, but I&#039 ; ll try. That the Southerner, uh, is in a way like the negro. He is a person who is outside of dominant culture. And is defending--in a different, uh, perspective, his, his identity--as the negro has been trying to find his identity in, uh, his culture, and has felt none in the American, the major American culture. Trying to find an identity, role in a very crucial way--and this, of course, is written about in great length. This, the negro search for identity. But the white Southerner who thought he had one once, you see, or looking toward his grandfather, did. YOUNG: Um-hm. WARREN: Now, he sees himself, his very identity threatened. Not just ways of life, but identity. His whole role. His whole social function. His existence threatened. In a mistaken way, he has elected to, uh, to stake his identity on, uh, a pattern of life which involves segregation. YOUNG: Yeah. WARREN: These are symptoms of life, not the core of life. Well, he&#039 ; s made those symbols and symptoms the essence. They stand for the essence--he hasn&#039 ; t even defined the problem for himself. And so, he, uh, some--it&#039 ; s the very identity, his very existence dependent upon enforcing this among, among several other symbols. Does that make any sense, part sense? YOUNG: Yeah, I, I think so. And, uh, when you couple with it, um, I think the real political threat, uh, that this white Southerner feels in hardcore areas. I mean, well, in areas of negro majority, such as the Mississippi Delta. Um, people tell me who talk with the white people about, um, around Selma, Alabama, that there was real fear of, um, and recollection of Reconstruction even, that still pervaded the mind of, of the average white person around Selma. WARREN: This is played up. It&#039 ; s not a folk memory. It&#039 ; s a deliberately cultivated, uh, piece of propaganda I feel. YOUNG: And they couple with this, um, well, you know, the myths really- -the myths, the sex myth, the Communist myth--and all of these things tend to feed on, um, or to, to feed this, this neurosis a great deal. And so you, you really get a, um, a kind of defensiveness that, that&#039 ; s very hard to cope with, and I think both the church and the government tend to make a mistake in trying to cope with it, uh, when they, um, when they cope with it through judgment. Now, I certainly believe in federal law and, and federal enforcement of law and in the use of troops. But for instance, the way in which Eisenhower used troops was almost--in Little Rock--was a defense of his ego and his, uh, the fact that he was insulted. The issue of law, federal law enforcement was never really communicated to the South and nobody really attempted to do this. Um, I think almost the same thing happened to Kennedy. That they felt betrayed by Ross Barnett. Uh, and they responded with a how of power. Now, uh, at this time, Kennedy himself had never--or Eisenhower--had ever made any attempt to communicate to the South the meaning of a republic. Nobody has ever attempted to do any education in the South, except the White Citizens Council and the Klan. And I think many of these people are--well, I&#039 ; d almost say that, um, the little experience I&#039 ; ve had in reading about these people is that they are, that they are genuinely sick. And--they play on the social sickness for leadership. So, that, that you find the South, um, with nobody really trying to tell them what the moral and cultural issues are today. WARREN: Let&#039 ; s switch this a little bit now. That is so true, that, you know, and the real pathology in some of theses people that I have met face to face. Let&#039 ; s take something else. Let&#039 ; s take a man almost at random. Uh, you know, opposite number, maybe. I don&#039 ; t know the man ; don&#039 ; t know anything about him really. I&#039 ; m taking a quote now from Galamison a few weeks ago. &quot ; I would rather see the public school system destroyed than not conform to the timetable of integration.&quot ; YOUNG: Um-hm. WARREN: &quot ; Maybe the school system already run its course anyway.&quot ; YOUNG: Um-hm. WARREN: What does that remark convey to you (??)? YOUNG: Well, I think, uh, I think he&#039 ; s speaking out of a great passion and he&#039 ; s not really--it&#039 ; s more heat than light, I&#039 ; d say. Um, but I know what he&#039 ; s trying to say. Now, the way I would interpret that same feeling when I have it, is that, um--well, one of my little talks about education is that, um, Dr. Conant (??) in his books has continually lambasted American education. Now nobody really takes this seriously. Um, they take it intellectually. Um, but the negro is really experiencing daily everything that Dr. Conant (??) is talking about times ten. You know, multiplied. Now, when, when Galamison says something like this, he&#039 ; s saying that the experience of public education for negroes is so, is such a wasted enterprise that it just as well not exist for the good that it&#039 ; s doing to the masses of negroes. Now when the truth--I think his narrowness is that he&#039 ; s only seeing this happening to negroes. But the same thing is almost happening to the average white person, too, in public education. WARREN: Certainly is. YOUNG: Now, um, I think that, um, he makes a mistake when--he doesn&#039 ; t point this out. That he makes enemies of the white community. And they count him then as, as irresponsible and hot-headed. Um, and in a sense he is, when, you know, when he says this kind of thing without putting it in the total educational perspective. But, um, I guess, I don&#039 ; t if this was said in a press statement-- WARREN:--a TV interview. YOUNG: A TV interview. Um-hm. Uh, these kinds of things, you know, uh, you can get caught sometimes into-- WARREN:--sure, sure. YOUNG: But I would say that Galamison is a Presbyterian minister. Um, an educated man himself would have a great deal of respect for education and the thing he&#039 ; s saying is that the education that we are getting now, that it--and I agree--that it would be much better, uh, for us to, to just say that--well, and this is what is going to happen in the school situation-- WARREN:--in New York or in general? YOUNG: In New York and in general. That, um, nobody would deal with Conant&#039 ; s (??) theories. I mean you wouldn&#039 ; t get the kind of rash readjustment of curriculum and everything else that&#039 ; s needed just on the basis of, of a book. But when a book and a social movement coincide, now what&#039 ; s going to happen is when Galamison begin to get a little time to do some thinking and reading about this--see, um, Martin Luther King really didn&#039 ; t have--he responded to the passion and--need of the situation. It wasn&#039 ; t until several months later when he began to mellow and reflect on it that he put it in the ideological context of nonviolence and--began to draw on this tradition and develop, um, an ideology to go with his movement. Now, um, I would think that, that Galamison is going to begin to--in fact, Dr. King and I were talking about this yesterday and, um, he was saying some of these things, and we were encouraging him-- WARREN:--Dr. King? YOUNG: Yeah, to talk to Galamison and try to find a meeting where we can sit down, um, with some of these school board leaders and rent strike leaders and, um, see if we can&#039 ; t--well, it sounds rather paternalistic. We don&#039 ; t mean it in that sense--but help them to mature a little faster as revolutionaries. They&#039 ; ve got something genuine. They&#039 ; ve got a folk movement which is going to be with us for a long time. And that we, we really should be sharing with one another what we have learned. WARREN: Here&#039 ; s, here&#039 ; s an energy--a dynamism of change--which is wasting itself on busing, the problem of busing, is that your idea? YOUNG: Yes. That&#039 ; s it -- WARREN:--busing. YOUNG: And this isn&#039 ; t the problem at all In fact, um, I dare say that, that integration--see, the problem, these integration becomes a problem, negro schools become a problem mainly because of the small percentage of money in America that&#039 ; s spent on any kind of education. WARREN: Let&#039 ; s start with that. Money is, is trivial compared to what it should be. YOUNG: Right. WARREN: What about a city like Washington, DC? How do you integrate the schools in Washington, or the schools in New York, fifteen years from now, when there won&#039 ; t be any white people around to integrate? YOUNG: Yeah, that&#039 ; s what, that&#039 ; s what I&#039 ; m saying. That we&#039 ; ve got to get--especially in schools--beyond the question of integration. The negro in the South, see, I think has-- WARREN:--it&#039 ; s beyond the question of integration. That&#039 ; s a transitional problem, is that right? YOUNG: I think so. Now, I think that the negro in the South has felt that the problem was--and within--in a good measure he was correct, you see--in Mississippi he&#039 ; d see the statistics that $206 a year was spent on negro education--on white education, a white student in Leflore County--$35 spent on a negro kid. So, that, um, he realizes that there&#039 ; s no need, it&#039 ; s almost impossible, it&#039 ; s too long to get this negro&#039 ; s education up to $200, see? The rate of gradualism just would just kill us. So he&#039 ; s got to integrate this $200 school system. Now, what the Northern negro has done is taken the Southern problem, I mean the Southern analysis as integration being the answer to everything, and tried to slap it on a situation where the problem isn&#039 ; t so much segregation as it is urbanization. WARREN: Now, just last week I was sitting with Dr. Anna Hedgeman, who is just the most wonderful woman, you know, who&#039 ; s been a great help to me. We were talking about the busing business and she said that busing was a facade (??) Busing&#039 ; s been done all the time (??). And, um, we hadn&#039 ; t come to grips with this business, in busing (??). And I, I said, &quot ; What about Washington?&quot ; She said, &quot ; Oh, bring them from Virginian.&quot ; YOUNG: Uh-hm. Now, well, I-- WARREN:--I can&#039 ; t see the logic in that by itself (??). Sending buses to Virginia, how can you get political implementation for that? (??) to bring white kids in from Virginia and put them into Washington, DC schools. YOUNG: But what you do in coping with the, um, you see, in coping with education problem, um, you don&#039 ; t really--this is the reason we say that the problem has to be taken in its totality. WARREN: Yes. YOUNG: That you get, um, education dependent, being de facto because of housing. Um, you get housing segregated partially because of jobs. Uh, you get jobs segregated mainly because negroes are not represented in the political structure. Now, uh, the thing--this is the reason we&#039 ; re centering more and more on now our fight on political representation. That, if negroes represent 34 percent of the--population in Alabama, somehow they ought to have 34 percent of the representation in state legislatures. Now, when you reapportion, uh, to exclude negroes from representation, you&#039 ; re really being unconstitutional. Now, um, when negroes are equally represented or proportionally represented in government, then it doesn&#039 ; t become--see, Washington&#039 ; s a problem because white people from the South--the District of Columbia committee--is mainly dominated by Southerners. So that negroes blame it on the South. And they blame then it on segregation. In New York the same thing is true. It&#039 ; s white people who are taking the blame for negro education. Now, I think that when you get some of these same negroes--and if I were mayor of New York, uh, I&#039 ; d put Galamison on his committee a long time ago and give him the responsibility of drawing up the school plan with somebody. And when he begins to be representative and have the responsibility for actually solving the problem, he will begin to see the problem in its depth. Um, and, you have, uh, you know--a means of solution then. But until you actually get representative government or until negroes are represented in the administration and in the government bureaucracy, so that, that they take the responsibility for dealing with some of these problems where they have racial overtones, you are going to get, um, segregation as the main focusing point. Now I don&#039 ; t know whether we have enough time to do this. WARREN: That&#039 ; s the problem right there. How do you contain the problems, even with the best (??) in the world, to accomplish this. YOUNG: And I don&#039 ; t really have any solutions. Um, I think right now, um, if we could once get people to see the problem, uh, to see racism as a symptom, or, or, in a sense, racism as mainly the--uh, I don&#039 ; t know what to call it. The, um. It&#039 ; s not the problem itself but it provides such a great frame of reference for so many problems that we&#039 ; re not really facing any of the problems of a modern democracy because we&#039 ; ve got to fight over racism. Congress can&#039 ; t face urban transit, uh, or urban renewal mainly because of the Southern power bloc. Um--and if you could once get, um, get democracy really functioning on an, on an equal basis for all of its citizens, you might be able to cope with these problems-- WARREN: Do you feel--excuse me-- YOUNG:--go ahead. WARREN: I thought I heard your voice coming to the period. My question, uh, is this: every movement, every person tends to become, uh, a prisoner of his own rhetoric. YOUNG: Yeah. WARREN: Of his own slogans, his own, um, sticks about himself, to himself. To what extent has this happened in the &quot ; negro movement&quot ; ? You were giving what might be an example a moment ago. You said integration has become for the New York school system, or even busing, um, a, a slogan, which may conceal, uh, the realities of the problem, the fundamental realities of the problem. This is not an argument by the way against integration. I&#039 ; ve said this-- YOUNG:--no-- WARREN:--when we were talking, but it&#039 ; s a question of self-deception that can occur around the words, as examples of, of rhetoric-- YOUNG:--yeah-- WARREN:--as a trap. YOUNG: Well, this I think, uh, is a trap that all leaders of mass movements fall into. You&#039 ; ve got to constantly--you&#039 ; ve got to have slogans, you&#039 ; ve go to have rallying points to keep the little people informed. Um, and yet, way down deep you know that the problems are not quite so simple. Real creativity-- (??)--I think the two things that--can save you from this. One is, um, I guess is, um, real creativity, and--continually feeding your movement new--ideas. We in the South have been able to, um--well, just moving from, from bus boycott to Freedom Riders to sit-ins, uh, to voter registration to massive, direct action has kept us from having any (??) answers to anything. And, so the movement has continued to evolve and grow and I think the Northern movement will do this, too. The other thing is enough, enough humility to admit that you are wrong. And I think Dr. King, certainly, um, exemplifies this. WARREN: In what specific way are you? YOUNG: Well, when you--follow a slogan and it gets you into trouble-- WARREN:--which slogan are you talking about now? YOUNG: Oh, let me see. Well, I think of one case was when, when Dr. King--and was really pulled into this with the Birmingham people demanding that twenty-give policeman be hired, uh, by a certain date. And really this came out of a press conference which, uh, had not really been cleared, and I think, uh-- WARREN:--cleared (??) how? I mean, the press comes with Dr. King with the, uh, Birmingham leaders-- YOUNG:--well, with a group of Birmingham leaders. WARREN: It hadn&#039 ; t been cleared with whom? YOUNG: I mean it hadn&#039 ; t really been thoroughly discussed and analyzed. It was a slogan, you see, um, for public relations value, for massive- -something had to be done, um, to give the people of Birmingham some hope, uh, that large scale bombings and mass murders were not going to follow this church, church bombing, because this really threatened. So, the feeling in Birmingham is that, that policemen have been related to, and in, in fact, involved with the bombings. So that one of our answers, the slogan was negro policemen, uh, would guarantee us some law enforcement. So, we asked for--we demand then to put a stop to these bombings twenty-five negro policemen. Now, um, there were problems, um, connected to this, but, um, Dr. King when he saw the problems, in some sense admitted that, um, you know, this was not possible and that we wouldn&#039 ; t maybe stage demonstrations on the basis of, uh, this demand for twenty-five policeman. Excuse me a minute. [Pause in recording.] WARREN: End of tape 2, conversation with Mr. Andy Young. See tape 3. [Tape 2 ends ; tape 3 begins.] WARREN: Tape 3 of a conversation with Andy Young, Atlanta, March seventeen, continued. [Pause in recording.] WARREN: You wanted to say something on the problem beyond integration? YOUNG: Yeah, I think, um, what, what we&#039 ; re finding more and more is- -along this same line that, that the negro, uh, is the problem child. But that, um, as is true in families, when you finally get onto it, you have problem children because you have problem families. Children usually reflect the problems that the family, um, exists, you know, that exist in the family. I think, um, when we are raising a ruckus about education, um, we are really reflecting the fact there&#039 ; s that education is inadequate for everybody. Uh, when we are raising a fuss about voting rights, um, it&#039 ; s because I think democracy has become very lax, um, in its political participation. That--politically America, Americans have not really been responsible, um, so that--when negroes demand the right to vote, they&#039 ; re reminding all American of the need to vote, if our, our system is going to truly work. Now, um, we&#039 ; ve gotten into so many of these problems like urban renewal or--I mean like, uh, overcrowding the schools and--poor city planning, because--of political bossism rather than representative government. Now in the South, um, we see the problem is that we are denied a right to vote, um, but when we fuss about our denial of the right to vote, um, we should really remind and we are really reminding America of the fact that all Americans, um, are being denied certain rights because they are not actively participating in their political, the political decisions of their community. That when, when negroes are--given a, um, a bad deal in the courts of the South, uh, we&#039 ; re--this isn&#039 ; t just because of race ; it&#039 ; s partially because of the court system, um, really needs some readjustment also. That, that this has possibly been too politically controlled and culturally dominated by region. WARREN: There&#039 ; s also a class question there, too, isn&#039 ; t there? YOUNG: That&#039 ; s right. That all poor people--now, the whole question of employment, negroes are fussing about jobs. And, um, while it&#039 ; s true negroes are discriminated against because of race, the real issue is unemployment and automation. Um, and this is not just a race problem ; um, it&#039 ; s a fundamental problem in our whole, uh socioeconomic structure. Now, I think that where the movement is going and, and where we are trying to go, is to try to help American to realize this. That, uh, we ought not to be battling each other on the race question. And that by that by battling each other on the race question, we run the danger of really being destroyed by these real problems. I always say that, you know, the Roman Empire was destroyed by some of these things, problems from within. But I, I wonder whether they realized them. Now, America has an opportunity to see what its problems are, because, well, history has sort of dressed them up in black. Um, that if you really want to know what&#039 ; s wrong with America, you find out what people with black skins are hollering about. WARREN: They&#039 ; re a barometer (??). YOUNG: Yeah, that&#039 ; s right. Because we&#039 ; re the ones that are on the bottom usually. So--I guess this is, the--I was talking out in Seattle, Washington with a group of people and they were complaining about, um, Boeing Aircraft out there, not having certain government contracts. And it all of a sudden dawned on me that, um, we were talking about the right to vote, and they were, they couldn&#039 ; t see any real relationship between the denial of, um, disenfranchisement of negroes in the South and their situation in Washington. They say, &quot ; Oh, we don&#039 ; t have that problem up here.&quot ; And then I reminded them that Lockheed Aircraft here in Atlanta has plenty of contracts, government contracts, while Boeing is, is losing government contracts, and part of this reason is that Richard Russell is chairman of the Armed Forces Committee of the Senate, and in twenty some years in, in the Senate, he has been able to accumulate such power in the Senate that not only is he depriving negroes of their rights, um, but he&#039 ; s depriving the citizens of Washington of their equal opportunities in government also. Now, um, I think that when we begin to document this across the country a little more and begin to show, uh, people how the Southern political power bloc strangles our whole concept of democracy, um, and we can get rid of this, then we might get around to dealing with some of our, our problems. Our real problems, which are, uh, unemployment. WARREN: Or, is the Southern political power bloc in the end merely a symptom of something else and not the enemy itself? YOUNG: Well--I tend to think that it&#039 ; s the enemy itself, right now. WARREN: You do (??)? YOUNG: Because I, I think that while the psychology of the South and the, the say the spiritual and moral dilemma give us the Southern politics, um, Southern politics maintains this climate. Can you excuse me just a minute? WARREN: Sure. [Pause in recording.] WARREN: Let&#039 ; s turn for a moment to a philosophy of nonviolence. I have a quotation here from Dr. Kenneth Clark about that philosophy. I&#039 ; ll read it to you. &quot ; On the surface, King&#039 ; s philosophy appears to reflect health and stability, while the black nationalists betray pathology and instability. A deeper analysis, however, might reveal that there is also an unrealistic, if not indeed pathological, basis in King&#039 ; s doctrine. The natural reaction to injustice is bitterness and resentment. The form that such bitterness takes need not be overtly violent but the corrosion of the spirit seems inevitable. It would seem, therefore, that any demand that the victims of oppression be required to love those who oppress them, places an additional and probably intolerable burden upon them.&quot ; YOUNG: Um-hm. WARREN: You&#039 ; ve heard (??) that line of argument. YOUNG: Um-hm. WARREN: How do you respond to that line of argument? How do you counter it, or analyze it (??)? YOUNG: Well, um, intellectually I think two ways. One is that, that, um, I think Dr. Clark is reflecting a particularly, almost behavioristic view of, of man. And--a psychologist generally see man, uh, maybe more biologically than spiritually. That, um, now some of your, your more recent schools--this fellow from Vienna that, that developed the whole system of local therapy out of his concentration camp experiences would say that, that people, uh, need--that his whole method is not the release and expression of hostility, but--maybe greater discipline ought to be required in situation where, where sickness is imminent. He uses the illustration of, of an ark, when it&#039 ; s beginning to crumble. One of the things that you can do to keep it together is to put more weight in the center of it and this actually binds the pieces together. And I think that this would be our experience in nonviolence. That--and my experience in child rearing, too, that I&#039 ; m not one of these that, that--while a certain amount of expression is necessary, I just don&#039 ; t believe in letting hostilities run rampant. And I think that this is what&#039 ; s implied. That that you are much more healthy when you express your hostility and aggression, and, yet, a civilization couldn&#039 ; t exist, uh, where hostilities weren&#039 ; t kept in check. Now, what we do is make it a virtue. In fact, a superior virtue, uh, to keep your hostilities in check. WARREN: That is, is you would, uh, answer Dr. Clark, not merely by theological ref-- YOUNG:--but on old-- WARREN:--but on old psychological grounds. YOUNG: Yes, um-hm. But now, um, but theologically also, um, I would say that man is--a creature of spirit and we have so many day-to-day case studies of people, um, who have become transformed because of their ability to love. That, that in the act of attempting to do something that seems to be beyond their reach, that we would say that by the grace of God they actually reach it. Now, it&#039 ; s not a permanent transformation and this doesn&#039 ; t mean that those of us who are nonviolent don&#039 ; t get mad with our wives, or something like this, but at least we have enough experience in coping with our emotions to know that it is to our advantage to control ourselves. Uh, that we have, have gained the most personally and--well, we&#039 ; ve actually made friends, um, with the people that we were at war with. And we&#039 ; re saying that for our movement, uh, we are trying to create a community of love. A redeemed community no less, where men can live together as brothers. And I&#039 ; ve never known brothers to learn to live together by fighting things out. I think that, um, that the path of amelioration or--of forgiveness in religious language is a much more realistic base for community. Now, we&#039 ; re not really teaching them, uh, to, uh, love in a sentimental, um, adoring way. I think maybe he misunderstands--the Christian notion of love. WARREN: Quite a distinction. YOUNG: Yeah, that we&#039 ; re not accepting his behavior and we&#039 ; re accepting him as a person in spite of the fact that he&#039 ; s wrong and in spite of the fact that his deeds--are savage and bestial. We say that in spite of the way that, that he is acting at present, he is still a child of God. And if you, if you respond to him as a, as a loving brother, that he can no longer continue to be a savage. WARREN: What about this objection that one encounters, that if such a policy and such a philosophy may work in the South where you have, uh, some, what you referred to as ethos, behind, uh, a society. What about, uh, a disoriented, uh, non-community? Like a big tracks (??)of Detroit, big traps of Harlem, big traps of, of South Chicago, where this ethos has been lost? Where there&#039 ; s no ethos to appeal to? , some analysis on that (??). YOUNG: Well, fortunately, I think we&#039 ; ve been able to take our ethos North with us. That the negroes in Detroit, see, came from the South-- WARREN:-- (??)-- YOUNG:--and when Martin Luther King came to New York and brought the, the tremendous mystique and--charisma that has been entrusted in him, say in the Southern movement, these negroes, a quarter of a million of them got out and marched behind him in Detroit. And they became a one-day community. Now, what I&#039 ; m, all I&#039 ; m saying is that leadership can make a community of the North, but it&#039 ; s true that as the North exists, see. WARREN: You don&#039 ; t see that kind of leadership there though. YOUNG: Well, it wasn&#039 ; t in Montgomery until it developed, you see. WARREN: I see. It happened (??), I see. YOUNG: Now, um, it develops in part through suffering. That when you&#039 ; ve got to--the big, um, danger of Northern leadership is that it&#039 ; s, it&#039 ; s may not be tempered, uh, in time. That, um, any delusions of grandeur that Martin Luther King may have had the first few months, uh, were bombed out of him when they bombed his home, and he had to face the fact that, you know, you can die doing this, so it&#039 ; s not something to play with. And it pushes him back to new depths. Then you begin to go along a little ways and you&#039 ; re slapped in jail. Some of his great- -well, I trace--we&#039 ; ll say new ideas of his, uh, to his jail periods. Certainly the finest articulation of our whole movement, uh, was, came out of his Birmingham jail experience. And I see that this, these periods of suffering are periods of great intellectual and spiritual deepening. WARREN: You know I was struck by--to cut in--by going to a rally at Bridgeport where he spoke two weeks ago. Of course, not one person there that was not clearly middle class. YOUNG: Yeah, um-hm. WARREN: Here&#039 ; s a city where this was all insolated. YOUNG: Um-hm. But now when we begin to move a movement, this would have been true in terms of Birmingham, um, if he&#039 ; d gone there to speak. In fact, he was there about a month before, speaking at an installation service for a minister in the biggest Baptist church there. Uh, and that was almost completely a middle-class group. But as the price of, of suffering and as the movement begins to go, the middle-classes thin out and the masses begin to come in. WARREN: Oh, this is terrible. I&#039 ; m just beginning to feel I&#039 ; m--you know- -digging gold now. [Pause in recording.] WARREN: This is the end of the conversation with Andy Young. This is the end, no more, no more on this tape. The end, the end, no more on this tape. No more on this tape. [Tape 3 ends.] [End of interview.] All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries. audio Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections and Digital Programs, University of Kentucky Libraries. 0 2003oh046_rpwcr035_young_ohm.xml

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“Andrew Young,” The Robert Penn Warren Oral History Archive, accessed August 14, 2020,