Jul. 31, 2019
The Restless Soul Of Whitney Young
Whitney Young only lived 49 years but he accomplished what few had in their lifetime. For nearly a decade Ancestor Whitley Young steadfastly captained The National Urban League during the 1960s' when this nation's racial conflicts were boiling over in almost every state, every urban center, and every government institution.
Whitney Young was indeed an individual who staked his life's belief in the principle of integration as the solution to America's racial conflicts. Mr. Young felt encumbered to work within the system of racial bigotry to force change. He felt the nation's urgency to bridge the gap of racial distrust to create a bridge of racial understanding.
Once this racial bridge was constructed all the barriers that allowed for the economic and social disparities between black and whites would eventually be erased. Too bad that Whitney Young's vision is still a far off dream in 2019. The bridge of racial understanding the Whitney Young imaged prior to his death in Nigeria in 1971 has collapsed.
Although Adam C. Powell Jr. maligned the character of Whitney Young by labeling this proud man Whitey Young. I can overlook that error in judgment by Adam C. Powell. If anything Whitney Young was a chameleon who could easily slip in between the worlds of black and white and his attempts to uplift our black race. Whitney Young had a strong relationship with Malcolm X. He was one of Malcolm X's closest confidants. Malcolm X sought our Whitney Young as someone he could indeed discuss the issues of the black community with.
In 1964, Whitney Young brought to the national black urban crisis a 10-Point Marshall Plan that would erase the many issues of blight and destruction facing black communities north, south, east, and west in this nation. Whitney Young also began to disavow the military misadventures that were ongoing in Southeast Asia. He, like Martin Luther King Jr., felt that the enormous funds being expanding in this war were a detriment to rebuilding the black communities.
Had Whitney Young not drowned in the waters off the Nigerian coast in 1971. It would've been quite a dynamic duo of Vernon Jordan and Whitney Young working collaboratively to solve the economic issues facing our black communities in the 70s' and 80s'. One can only imagine the force of these two remarkably intellectually talented black men would have taken our black communities.
On this the day of his 98th birthday, I bring forth the name of Whitney Young on my black blog. I understand that his soul is quite restless because our nation is still grappling with the meaningless battle of racism in 2019. He is also restless because of this ever prevalent white-black economic gap Whitney Young sought to eviscerate is still on-going and even expanding. Whitney Young's soul is still restless because of the absence of the over negative wealth condition of black America. Whitney Young's restless soul is not happy, and on this July 31, 2019, afternoon it seems that racism is making a huge rebound with our nation's President the head cheerleader.
Perhaps one of the better descriptions of Young's life was voiced by a black high school student in Michigan at the time of Young's funeral in 1971: "Whitney Young started out a brother and died a brother. He was one cat that could run with rich white people and still look out for us."
Will we in the black communities remember Whitney Young for his dream of an equal society. Or will our black communities remember Whitney Young as a man who saw wrong and tried to correct by for all intense purposes far short of his goal