“How did you manage the difficulty and the controversy?” Reed asked. “Counsel me,” he added with a smile.
Young said he “learned not to worry. . . .You really have to trust in God. . . . If it’s supposed to be, it’s supposed to be.
“The whole pattern of the Civil Rights Movement was to do the best you could, knowing that you were going to fail,” Young said. Referring to the tough campaign in Birmingham, AL., Young said after three months, both white and Black leaders wanted them to give up. Young said King retreated to a room, got into bed with the pillow over his head talking with his wife Coretta. He then emerged with his overalls on and said he was sorry, you may be right , but we have to go on.
When King was arrested and jailed during the Birmingham campaign, he responded to a newspaper advertisement by white preachers condemning him by writing what is now famously known as the “Letter from the Birmingham Jail.” Young said Quakers made 100,000 copies and circulated it around the world. “That changed everything,” and the Civil Rights Act was passed followed by the Voting Rights Act followed by the dismantling of segregation throughout the South.
Young praised Reed for his work as Atlanta’s 59th mayor, noting that he has been able to get federal dollars to support several Atlanta projects, and is involved in helping the state secure federal