Andrew Young speaks to Bridgewater College
Story By Erin Gutzwiller
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reached the conclusion that the only way we could change America was without violence. Andrew Young was among those who joined King, who was assassinated 40 years ago this week, in the fight to extend basic civil rights to African Americans.
Young was welcomed with open arms at Bridgewater College this week as part of the school’s annual Founders Day celebration. Bridgewater celebrates Founders Day in the month of April to honor the college’s founder, D.J. Flory, who founded Bridgewater in 1880.
Young is a remarkable man who has accomplished many honors in his lifetime. Young like King is a civil rights activist that worked in the South during the Civil Rights Movement encouraging blacks to vote. He served three terms in the United States Congress, two terms as the mayor of Atlanta, and was named ambassador to the United Nations by Jimmy Carter. He was co-chairman of the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996 and worked side by side with King in the civil-rights era.
Young became interested in the concept of nonviolent resistance from reading the works of Gandhi. He fought to use this concept as a method for social change, bringing blacks the power to vote. Young worked hard in pursuing the right for African Americans to vote because he says that “for democracy to work people have to have the freedom to participate.” His hard work and dedication to the civil rights eventually paid off, and now he can give advice to voters for this election season. His advice is to “look at the person and what they stand for and what the implications of their election would be.”
Young has shown his passion for the people of various communities through his actions and his involvement in numerous organizations. He tries to communicate to young people that working in Congress “gave him a sense that you are the best leaders you know, if you want to start changing the world help yourself.”