Mayor, Library Celebrate Young Papers Opening

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    to get the votes needed to bring the games to Atlanta. “We got 53 of the 55 votes in Africa and that was all we needed.”

    QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

    Audience member Dennis Turner asked Young what it was like to work along side Martin Luther King Jr.

    Young said he met King when King was 29, about three years after he first became a public figure. He was about as crazy as any of us. He was always laughing and “joanin” folk. He was never angry but he could tear you apart with his humor. He was a cross between Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. He could imitate people. He impersonated other preachers and how they preached with added humor. It made it fun to be around him.

    A young audience member asked him how it felt to  live in racial segregation.

    Young said they were trained to ignore it. They could segregate your body but you don’t let them segregate your mind. He added that he lived in a wonderful neighborhood that had a diversity of people, races and religions.  My father taught me that white supremacy was a sickness. And you don’t get made at people who are sick, you try to help them.

    Audience member Janet Turner asked about Young’s abrupt resignation from his post as United States Ambassador to the United Nations under the Jimmy Carter Presidential Administration.

    Young said he was meeting with all groups of people on all sides of the issue all the time, but it only became a controversy when people thought he was meeting in secret and he was doing something against the rules. At that point, he said he realized he was in a no win situation. “New York is not like Atlanta. It is very volatile.” He said there would be detractors demonstrating for him to go and supporters from Harlem demonstrating for him to stay.  As a result, he said, he decided to resign and took a 17-country, three-week tour of Africa. He then returned to Atlanta and was talked into running for mayor (where he served for two terms – from 1982-1990).

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