The Local Take talks our History and Future with Ambassador Andrew Young

Feb 27, 2021

C T Vivian, Joseph E. Lowery, John Lewis, Andrew Young
Credit Sue Ross

WCLK's The Local Take(Saturdays 8am) reached out to our resident historian and former Atlanta Mayor and Ambassador Andrew Young to speak about our past, current, and future. I asked Ambassador Young to share stories about his comrades that we lost in the last year. 

  He spoke about the Montgomery Bus Boycott from 1950 and the student sit-in from 1960 and then mentioned that C. T. Vivian started sit-ins in Peoria, IL, in 1947. 

Rev. C. T. Vivian went on to the Baptist Convention Seminary in Nashville, where he came to mentor future congressman John Lewis, Diane Nash, and other students.  They met at 6AM every morning for months to learn about strategy.  I asked Ambassador Young about Rev. Joseph Lowery. He spoke about him being a Methodist pastor who started and led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He talked about Rev. Lowery meeting with Alabama Governor George Wallace and creating the earliest gun buy back programs.  Young also said that Evelyn Lowery was a leader in her own right.  I asked Ambassador Young about Hank Aaron. He shared a story that Hank Aaron told about growing up in Mobile and hiding under his bed when the Klan rode through his neighborhood. He talked about integrated exhibition baseball teams that went from town to town in the forties and fifties.  He talked about the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and that America is getting an education about the need for voting rights.  Ambassador Young also spoke about new leaders including  Stacey Abrams, Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Raphael Warnock.  He warned that "we can't get cocky" that there is still work to do.  He spoke about the young people that have and are currently matriculating on the Atlanta University Campuses.  I asked about the documentary film he is completing and the young leaders he is working with on new projects like the Greenwood Bank. He spoke about meeting Killer Mike when he was 15 years old on the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council. He emphasized that Greenwood Bank isn't like a traditional bank.  It's a fintech (finance tech) start-up.  Ambassador Young has always advised that "you shouldn't get mad, you should get smart." I asked him to leave us with a bit of advice for 2021. 

 For more information on Ambassador Andrew YoungFor more information on the photographer Sue RossThe photgraph is part of a Black History Month Exhibition at Johns Creek Art Center