andrew young



Speaking of Andrew Young and his personal accomplishments is difficult to relate to without involving a whole society and their struggles. It is also unkind to speak of the Civil Rights Movement and the heights it attained without illustrating the great dignity of Andrew Young. Many years of his life, has been dedicated to the movement; in a sense he has lived it. For many years his family was a state of mind rather than a physical being from his constant absence. He would crash with fatigue almost every night in strange motels across the bitter south after countless marches and demonstrations just to better the lives of millions of people he never met. Along with Andrew’s assemblage, the SCLC, left an impression that will never be forgotten. Many famous humanitarians had their roots in the SCLC; such as Jesse Jackson, the activist who fights for the poor (ranked the 47th most influential black American ever). Fannie Lou Hamer, who came up through her grass roots as a sharecropper, to become one of the strongest pushers of black votes, (she is ranked the 75th most influential black American). Ralph Abernathy, a very strong strategist and pastor for the SCLC, who became leader of the SCLC after his best friend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated. Dr. King, the force behind the whole movement, is ranked the number 1 most influential black leader in America. Andrew Young was the Executive director of the SCLC and also was the down to earth man that reasoned some of the crazy ideas out of his peers (Mr. Young is ranked 65th among the most influential). The main focus of this book was the battles the SCLC fought across the nation, leaving a very vivid account of each movement. If you look at the general trend of the specific movements, the issues are all attacking different problems. Specifically, as the movements progressed, the SCLC issues deepened.
Before the successful social reform of the 1960’s, there were obviously many deep troublesome issues concerning the treatment of blacks in the South. Generally, in the South, the black man who was supposedly a “freedman” after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1883, was treated subhuman and had almost no rights. Racial injustice was accepted, even given a name, “Jim Crow”. These unwritten laws oppressed the black race from obtaining any sort of dream. Their basic rights set for them by our founding fathers; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, were stripped from them. Martin Luther King made this famous by his quote from his speech “I Have a Dream”. He said that:
“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... America has given the Negro people a bad check, which has come back insufficient funds.”

The mindset of the South was “separate but equal”, which is totally unacceptable. For instance, in the transit system, the blacks were forced to the back of the bus, and the whites were given the front. If the white section overflowed, they would make a black man get out of his seat to let the white man sit; but if the “colored” section was crammed to the top, under no circumstance could they take a seat in even an empty white section. The examples of white tyranny are endless. Yes, along the way there were many blacks that fought back. For example, Marcus Mosiah Garvey devoted his life to the cause of correcting the injustices that blacks were subjected to. Leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr., cite him as the inspiration for their work. Progress slowly was made but not without great effort by many black leaders. Not until the day the black men came back from fighting the Second World War was there a new look at black expectations and attitudes. Servicemen returned home with broader mental horizons, increased confidence, and greater self-esteem. They had fought and defeated the racist tyranny