Q: what is the role of black leadership now as oppose to then, say the 1960’s?
A: in the 60’s black leadership had to get out in the street and be seen and raise hell to get any attention. You don’t have to do that now.
Q: are we getting the attention we’re (Black America) deserve?
A: no, we don’t need it. Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin does not need any attention. Shirley Franklin has a $3 billion sewer program that she put through, a $6 billion airport expansion, and she got the King papers. She called a meeting and the business community came up with $32 million dollars (along with Ambassador Young’s help I might add). That’s real power. Many people operating from the suites control more money than the entire continent of Africa. There is no country in Europe, I don’t believe that handles the resources that Merrill Lynch has and their CEO, Stan O’Neil (African American) is in charge of that. American Express wires more money around the world every day than the President of the United States (can) and that is Kenneth Chenault (also African American) is in charge there. But, they are operating quietly saving these businesses just like black mayors operate to save their cities.
Excerpt from interview by my friend Natalie Cole, publisher of Our Weekly, with my hero and living legend Ambassador Andrew Young.