Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Young, Whitney Jr. (1921–1971)

Young started out as a teacher after attending Kentucky State Industrial College and then served in World War II. Earning his Masters in social work from the University of Minnesota, he joined the Urban League of St. Paul, which was working to find jobs for African Americans. He became the executive director of the National Urban League in 1961. He made the League a cosponsor of the March on Washington, prevented the League from going bankrupt and expanded its staff and mission. Young advised Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, and Johnson, to whom he presented the Domestic Marshall Plan, which shaped Johnson’s policies and won Young the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1968.