Exclusive: Andrew Young’s untold Civil Rights story

Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:19 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - As we near the end of black history month, CBS46 is remembering the early days of the Civil Rights Movement.

There are so many untold stories, and who better to hear them from than former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young?

CBS46 anchor Rick Folbaum sat down with the icon in an exclusive one-on-one where Young detailed how Martin Luther King Jr. went from being a volunteer of the movement to a Civil Rights leader.

“I think it was two weeks after he mailed in his dissertation and Rosa Parks sits down on the bus, and he gets drafted into the leadership. He wasn’t even trying to run this. He was in the back of the church running the mimeograph machine,” recalled Young.

From making copies to making history. Kings answered the call in 1955, leading the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, that would define the movement’s non-violent tactics.

After the bus boycott, King took over as president of the newly formed Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which aimed to bring together black churches all across the south. Decades before Young became the first African American ambassador to the United Nations.

“I would put on a shirt and tie after demonstrating and I would go talk to the business community,” said Young.

It was Young’s job to broaden support for the cause of civil rights. He did. In 1965, as the Selma to Montgomery marches were set to begin, King had advice for his deputies who’d be leading the way, including a young John Lewis.