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Whitney M. Young, Jr., and the Struggle for Civil Rights

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Whitney M. Young, Jr., the charismatic executive director of the National Urban League from 1961 to 1971, bridged the worlds of race and power. The "inside man" of the black revolution, he served as interpreter between black America and the businessmen, foundation executives, and public officials who constituted the white power structure. In this stimulating biography, Nancy J. Weiss shows how Young accomplished what Jesse Jackson called the toughest job in the black movement: selling civil rights to the nation's...
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Princeton, NJ 1990 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 302 p. Contains: Illustrations. Princeton Legacy Library. Audience: General/trade. 2M-10-A

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Princeton, NJ 1989 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 286 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

Whitney M. Young, Jr., the charismatic executive director of the National Urban League from 1961 to 1971, bridged the worlds of race and power. The "inside man" of the black revolution, he served as interpreter between black America and the businessmen, foundation executives, and public officials who constituted the white power structure. In this stimulating biography, Nancy J. Weiss shows how Young accomplished what Jesse Jackson called the toughest job in the black movement: selling civil rights to the nation's most powerful whites. With race at center stage in American national politics, Young brought the National Urban League into the civil rights movement and made it a force in the major events and debates of the decade. Within the civil rights leadership, he played an important role as strategist and mediator. A black man who grew up in a middle class family in the segregated South, Young spent most of his adult life in the white world, transcending barriers of race, wealth, and social standing to advance the welfare of black Americans. His goals were to gain access for blacks to good jobs, education, housing, health care, and social services; his tactics were reason, persuasion, and negotiation. He understood keenly the value to the movement of creative tension between moderates and militants, and he took good advantage of that understanding to promote his aims. Andrew Young said of Whitney Young that he knew the "high art of how to get power from the powerful and share it with the powerless." How he managed that, and with what consequence, is the central theme of this book.

An excellent biography of the influential civil rights leader who worked behind the scenes through the Urban League to obtain needed reforms.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Of the many recent books on the U.S. civil rights movement, this is the first to focus on the role of Whitney M. Young Jr., executive director of the National Urban League (1961-71). The author of this solidly researched, clearly written biography argues that Young served an often overlooked and thankless role, carrying the message of the movement to the U.S. power elite. While the author focuses on Young as a complete individual, an effort is made to highlight the necessity of his role in the movement, the relish and vigor with which he played that role, and the recognition of other major civil rights leaders of the importance of that role. This volume fills a niche in the literature detailing the history of the U.S. civil rights movement.-- Joseph Stewart Jr., Univ. of Texas at Dallas, Richardson
Booknews
A biography of the civil rights leader, the revolution, who directed the National Urban League, and served as interpreter between black America and the businessmen, foundation executives, and public officials who constituted the white power structure. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691047577
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1990
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.53 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 1.07 (d)

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