August 28, 1963, will go down, for many, as the day the nation woke up to the idea of a world where racial equality could exist. It’s a day that Ambassador Andrew Young will never forget. Young, who at the time was a young man, knew that he had an assignment to do. His job was to make sure that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was protected and served well. In an exclusive interview with Christian Headlines, Ambassador Young and his mentee, John Hope Bryant, the president, and founder of Operation Hope, reflect on the importance and impact of the March on Washington. They also discuss how essential mentorship is in moving the country forward.
“I remember the day clearly, along with how it came about,” Young said as he reflected on the March on Washington and the racial strife that led to the historic day.
Young recalled that Dr. King almost didn’t give his famous “I Have a Dream” speech because some of the leaders of the March thought he was too young. “Dr. King didn’t give his speech until late that day,” Young said.
He also remembers being in the crowd that day, thinking about the logistics of how the March came about. People wanted to physically March to Washington, so over 250,000 people came via planes, trains, cars, and buses from across the country. It was the largest civil rights gathering of its time.
Young doesn’t see himself as playing a key part in that day.
But Bryant lauded Young for his civil rights work asserting that “Ambassador Young should be considered one of the founding fathers of our country due to his work in bringing racial equality in our nation.”
Later he pointed to Young’s work in protecting King.
“Whenever you see pictures of Ambassador Young with Dr. King, he is always in the background looking out for him,” Bryant said.
It is Young’s hope that even at the age of 91, God will use him, an ordained minister, to be the voice of wisdom and offer a prophetic mindset to make sure the country keeps its focus as the nation stops to recognize the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Image/Marcus Ingram/Stringer, ©Getty Images/Derek White/Stringer