What do you know about Kentucky native Whitney Young Jr.?

Lincoln Institute remembers civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr.’s historical impact on Kentucky, nation

He’s advised presidents and even held the top post at the National Urban League. Young also had a role in the famous March on Washington more than 50 years ago.

Photo Courtesy: The Lincoln Institute

The Lincoln Institute remembers civil rights leader Kentucky native Whitney M. Young Jr.’s and his impact on the Civil Rights Movement

By Sherlene Shanklin

SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. — Whitney M. Young Jr. had the respect of many, especially around the state of Kentucky.

He was an advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon.

Young was born on the campus of the Lincoln Institute – a boarding high school for Blacks created by trustees of Berea College after integrated education was outlawed in Kentucky in 1904 due to the Day Law.

“I am not anxious to be the loudest voice or the most popular. But I would like to think that at a crucial moment, I was an effective voice of the voiceless, an effective hope of the hopeless.”.

He served as president for the National Urban League and played a significant role in the Civil Rights movement.

“He was part of the Big 6 and how President Nixon even asked him to be part of his cabinet and he felt like he could do more for us as a race if he used his platform versus being in the cabinet,” Vivian Warren Overall, a retired community member and Lincoln Foundation board of trustee member said.

Young also helped organized the March on Washington for jobs and freedom with his Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brother, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

His parents also played an important role in history.

“Whitney Young Sr. was the first African American president of Lincoln Institute certainly having his own prominence as well as Whitney Jr.’s mom was the first African American postmaster in Kentucky and second in the nation,” Paula Campbell, development director said.

The permanent exhibit in Young’s childhood home is like taking a journey to the past. Campbell said there’s so much history – not just Kentucky history but US history that’s steeped on the land.

Young died on March 11, 1971 at the age of 49.

“He was overseas in Lagos, Nigeria for a conference and had gone swimming and the story is that he drowned,” Campbell said. “Some suspect that was not the case, including his sister. He was a champion swimmer she does not believe he accidentally drowned.”

Campbell explained there are many people who believe that Young may have been one of the leaders during the movement that may have been assassinated. She said it’s something they will never know because it’s been a big mystery.

“President Nixon sent his personal jet over to bring his body back and at that time – one of the Tuskegee Airmen flew that jet now that was special,” Overall said.

Young’s funeral was held in Kentucky with thousands in attendance which included Rev. Jesse Jackson and Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King. The eulogy was given by President Nixon.

“The funeral procession part of it came back here to the campus and circled the campus. That was his last ride,” Overall said.

What would Young think about the fight for social justice happening now?  

“I think this correlation between the 1960’s and now – because all of the things he did to fight for equal rights,” Campbell said.

To see the story click the following link-> https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/black-history/whitney-m-young-jr-black-history-month-draft/417-edb48591-ade6-4b58-8a16-26bad7b8b721

►Contact The VIPP Report’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

The VIPP Report: Civil rights leader honored with a street signing dedication

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By Sherlene Shanklin

There will be a community celebration to honor civil rights activist Mattie Jones.  On Wednesday, March 28th at 5 p.m. at the corner of Louis Coleman Jr. Drive and River Park Drive there will be a street sign dedication.

Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton of District 5 will join Jones and members of her family and friends will unveil an honorary sign on the block where she lives as a tribute to her accomplishments and efforts for advancing civil rights in Metro Louisville.

At the age of 84, Mattie continues to challenge people and issues that treat people of color in a negative light.  You see her being interviewed by the media and protesting throughout the city but she has worked behind the scenes with civil rights leaders all across the United States but she supported her great friend the late Rev. Louis Coleman on a daily basis with issues and situations across Kentucky and parts of Southern Indiana. Their call to duty had no limitations on distance.

Mattie cared for over 100 children as a foster mother.  She raised them right along with her eight children.  Mattie will be 85 years old on the day of the celebration and dedication.

So on Wednesday, March 28th at 5 p.m. supporters of Mattie Jones will come out and support the mother to children who needed love, people who needed support and she’s the woman who stands up for what is right without even knowing your name.

Now, the public will have a chance to say thank you to the unsung leader who continuously chants for all people…No Justice, No Peace.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at thevippreport@vippcommunications.com.  You can follow this column on Twitter @thevippreport and @vippcomm.

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The VIPP Report: Dick Gregory returns to Louisville for one night only

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The VIPP Report: Civil right activist and comedian Dick Gregory will take the stage on Wednesday, June 18th in Louisville for one show only at the Laughing Derby at Comedy Caravan. The 83year old has produced 15 comedy albums and written 14 books just to name a few of his accolades. His live performance is not for the shy. His “Tell it like it is” approach brings current events and humor to another level.

Gregory is no stranger to Louisville. He’s been here several times in support of the late Rev. Louis Coleman and civil rights issues. In 2002, Gregory along with Martin Luther King III and other leaders walked the streets of Louisville in protest of the death of James Taylor who was killed by police.

It will be interesting to hear what Gregory will say tomorrow night at the Laughing Derby. Comedian Steve Hofstetter from the Late Late Show will open for Gregory.

The show starts at 7:45 p.m. and tickets are $20 per person. The Laughing Derby at Comedy Caravan is located at the Mid-City Mall, 1250 Bardstown Road.

Next event: June 19th-21st will be Comedian Mark Curry.
If you have a story idea send it to TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com. You can also follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm.