Whitney Young: The man who convinced all-white Board Rooms to hire Black people

Published on February 5, 2020 by

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The story on Whitney Young, the civil rights activist who was once responsible for single-handedly adding 40,000 jobs for African-Americans in a single year during the 1960s.

He was also the reason all-white corporate board rooms across America started hiring Black people. In addition, he was part of the “Big Six”, a team that included Dr. Martin Luther King who organized the famed 1963 March on Washington (the “I have a Dream” march).

He was also called a sellout and “Uncle Tom” for cozying up to white established leaders. Young denied this, saying it’s important to work within the system to affect change. He was also used by President Lyndon B Johnson as the “black balance” to Dr. King’s opposition to the Vietnam War, something Young didn’t appreciate.

In all, Young looked out for the “common” person through his Social Work, director of the National Urban League (which he grew exponentially), and the President of the National Association of Social Workers.

He died at the age of 49 at Lighthouse Beach near Lagos, Nigeria, where we were attending an Afro-American conference.

It’s a shame we don’t hear about him often, except through schools & buildings that bear his name.


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