Civil Rights Icon Andrew Young Reflects On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy And America’s Progress On MLK Day


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From The Seattle Medium

Andrew Young speaks during a dedication ceremony at the Martin Luther King Memorial on the National Mall October 16, 2011, in Washington, DC. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

As the nation commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, civil rights icon, diplomat, and former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young reflected on King’s legacy and progress in America since the 1960s.

One of the last surviving members of King’s inner circle, Young, sat down for an exclusive interview on PBS-TV’s The Chavis Chronicles with National Newspaper Publishers Association President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., where he shared valuable insights into his historical journey as a leader of the civil rights movement and his own enduring legacy.

“I do this,” Young said, reflecting on challenging injustices like the false arrest and imprisonment of the Wilmington Ten in the 1970s, “because it’s the right thing to do. I wasn’t being militant or outspoken I was trying to get people to see just what it is.”


Reflecting on his experiences, Young shares poignant moments during the interview, including facing violence during the Civil Rights movement. He recalls, “When the Klan came marching down in the community, they wanted to provoke a fight. They had guns under their sheets in Lincolnville, Florida,” he noted. “The same Black folks who got beat up with me said they had the love of Jesus in their hearts; that spiritual witness of nonviolence and forgiveness moved the Congress, and the next week they passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”

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