Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood before the audience in Oslo, Norway and accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Civil Rights movement.
While we have seen some progress, we still have a long way to go.
On Wednesday, Ambassador Andrew Young joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” via phone to reflect on the historic occasion and share a few little known details about December 10th, 1964, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.
Ambassador Young told Martin once they returned from Oslo, “There were a couple of things that hat were very significant. When we got off the plane in New York, we went straight from Oslo, we went straight to the Harlem Armory and who was waiting for Martin at the back of the Armory but Malcolm X and Governor Nelson Rockefeller.”
“Martin and Malcolm had their only meeting where Malcolm congratulated him for the prize and was pleased with all the work we were doing. He said, ‘Look I don’t think I should be linked to you. I think that my work is seperate and I think we’re stronger if we keep it that way.’”
Young said both Dr. King and Malcolm X “parted with a great deal of respect and mutual admiration.”
Martin referred to Dr. King’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech as being overlooked by many because King’s “tone was different, his language was different.” Martin also noted that though his approached was different, King’s address was “very cutting and biting and insightful.”
Martin also asked Ambassador Young, “How critical was it for Dr. King to walk the fine line in accepting this award on behalf of the movement?”
Young replied, “He [Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] was talking to a different audience. He was talking to a European audience that had selected him.”
“I found out just yesterday, out of a total of 44 nominees from all over the world, his nomination was submitted by the American Friends Service Committee, the Quakers and also was endorsed by a group of Swedish members of Parliament,” Ambassador Young said.
Young continued, “He was speaking to a group who didn’t know the details of race and he didn’t get into it. He simply talked about the philosophy of nonviolence and how effective it had been and must continue to be.”
Watch and listen to Ambassador Andrew Young’s reflection on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech above and let us know your thoughts on what the current movement for social justice can learn from the Civil Rights movement.
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