Patrick McElhaney » Black History Month: Civil Rights Leaders come to Point Loma

Black History Month: Civil Rights Leaders come to Point Loma

Enter your text here...

“Passing the Torch”

Civil Rights Leaders Come to Point Loma/Liberty Station

Where: High Tech High Graduate School of Education (2150 Cushing Rd., San Diego) 


When:  Tuesday, February 20th. Doors open at 6:30 and the program will last from 7:00-8:30.


 RSVP: Link


Three Civil Rights Leaders will speak:


Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Clarence Jones, Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr.,



In Preparation for this program Mr. McElhaney is sponsoring a film Selma to be shown in the Point Loma High School PAC on February 13 at 5:30, the film presentation will be preceded by a lecture and a few student research projects.

Please contact Mr. McElhaney for more information [email protected]




Links to Videos:

Excellent Civil Right History Video on George Wallace and Civil Rights Movement link


The definitive documentary on the Civil Rights Movement (Link)

Other Documents:



Civil Rights Leaders coming on Feb 20.



Ambassador Andrew Young 

Andrew Young's lifelong work as a politician, human rights activist, and businessman has been in great measure responsible for the development of Atlanta's reputation as an international city.

Early Life and Career

Andrew Jackson Young Jr. was born on March 12, 1932, in New Orleans, Louisiana, into a prosperous middle-class family. His mother, Daisy Fuller, was a schoolteacher, and his father, Andrew Young, was a dentist. Born during the depths of the Great Depression and Jim Crow segregation, Young was brought up to believe that "from those to whom much has been given, much will be required." Young accepted that responsibility from a young age, but as he wrote in his 1996 autobiography, his mission as a civil rights activist and politician has been for him "an easy burden."

Young graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1951 with a bachelor's degree in biology. He then earned a divinity degree from Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut and accepted the pastorate of Bethany Congregational Church in Thomasville, Georgia, in 1955. While there he immersed himself in civil rights and in organizing voter registration drives. Young joined the staff of the National Council of Churches in 1957, the year U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to protect African American schoolchildren in a school desegregation case.

Civil Rights Leadership

Young left his

Andrew Young (right) is accompanied by Martin Luther King Jr. (left) and Ralph Abernathy (center) in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. They were in Selma to register blacks to vote.

Young, King, Abernathy

position as pastor in 1961 to work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the church-centered, Atlanta-based civil rights organization led by Martin Luther King Jr.

Young assisted in the organization of "citizenship schools" for the SCLC, workshops that taught nonviolent organizing strategies to local people whom members of the organization had identified as potential leaders. The schools served rural, typically uneducated blacks who sometimes chafed under Young's leadership. Differences in education and economic background between Young and other black leaders of that time may have caused some to consider him elitist. Nonetheless, the citizenship schools educated a generation of civic leaders and registered thousands of voters throughout the South, and were largely responsible for both the civil rights movement's democratic ethos and its eventual success.

Young became a trusted aide to Martin Luther King Jr., eventually rising to the executive directorship of the SCLC. He was instrumental in organizing voter registration and desegregation campaigns in Albany; Birmingham and Selma, Alabama; and Washington, D.C., among other places. He was with King when the civil rights leader was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.


Dr. Clarence Jones   

Clarence Jones served as speechwriter and counsel to Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1960 to 1968 as an Allied Member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and in the Wall Street investment banking firm Carter, Berlind & Weill becoming the “first Negro” on Wall Street. He coordinated the legal defense of Dr. King and the other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference against the libel suits filed against them and The New York Times by the police commissioner and other city officials of Birmingham, Alabama. The Supreme Court ruling in this case – Sullivan vs. The New York Times – resulted in the landmark decision on the current law of libel. In April 1963, he drafted the settlement agreement between the City of Birmingham and Martin Luther King, Jr. to bring about the end of demonstrations and the desegregation of department stores and public accommodations. In August 1963, he assisted Dr. King in the drafting of his celebrated “I Have A Dream” speech that he delivered at the March On Washington, August 28th 1963.

Jones joined the team of lawyers defending King in the midst of King’s 1960 tax fraud trial; the case was resolved in King’s favor in May 1960. Jones and his family relocated to New York to be close to the Harlem office of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and he joined the firm of Lubell, Lubell, and Jones as a partner. In 1962, Jones became general counsel for the Gandhi Society for Human Rights, SCLC’s fundraising arm.

Later 1962, Jones would advise King to write President John F. Kennedy on the Cuban Missile Crisis. He urged King to make a statement because “your status as a leader requires that you not be silent about an event and issues so decisive to the world” (Jones, 1 November 1962).

Jones accompanied King, Wyatt Tee Walker, Stanley Levison, Jack O’Dell, and others to the SCLC training facility in Dorchester, Georgia, for an early January 1963 strategy meeting to plan the Birmingham Campaign. Following King’s 12 April arrest in Birmingham for violating a related injunction against demonstrations, Jones secretly took from jail King’s hand-written response to eight Birmingham clergymen who had denounced the protests in the newspaper. It was typed and circulated among the Birmingham clergy and later printed and distributed nationally as “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. Jones helped secure bail money for King and the other jailed protesters by flying to New York to meet with New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, who gave Jones the bail funds directly from his family’s vault at Chase Manhattan Bank.

Jones continued to function as King’s lawyer and advisor through the remainder of his life, assisting him in drafting the first portion of the 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech[1] at Jones' house in Riverdale, Bronx,[6] and preserving King's copyright of the momentous address; acting as part of the successful defense team for the SCLC in New York Times v. Sullivan; serving as part of King’s inner circle of advisers, called the "research committee"; representing King at meetings (for example the Baldwin-Kennedy meeting); and contributing with Vincent Harding and Andrew Young to King's "Beyond Vietnam" address at New York’s Riverside Church on 4 April 1967.


 Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr.,  

He was a cofounder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a leader in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins, a Freedom Rider, an associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the national coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign.

At the age of twenty-two, he assumed the directorship of the Alabama Voter Registration Project in Selma—a city that had previously been removed from the organization’s list due to the dangers of operating there.

LaFayette was one of the primary organizers of the 1965 Selma voting rights movement and the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, and his memoir, written with Kathryn Lee Johnson, shares the inspiring story of his struggles there.

When he arrived in 1963, Selma was a small, quiet, rural town. By 1965, it had made its mark in history and was nationally recognized as a battleground in the fight for racial equality and the site of one of the most important victories for social change in our nation.