Fort Valley State University celebrated Black History Month by welcoming civil rights icon the Rev. Andrew Young to its annual scholarship luncheon.
Young worked with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and later served as Mayor of Atlanta, Congressman from Georgia, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President Jimmy Carter.
Instead of talking too much about his past, Young focused a lot on the future. He said he wanted to challenge students to become leaders. "When I first came to Georgia, there weren't indoor toilets at my church. I see things over a longer perspective, and there have always been challenges and there will always be challenges, but we'll always rise to the occasion eventually," he said.
Drawing on his experience at the U.N., Young said global challenges ahead may be more daunting than those his generation faced. He said, for example, that ethnic minorities in countries in China and India who sometimes have issues with their governments could learn from the experiences of American blacks in the South.
But he said, he's confident in future leaders' abilities to solve those challenges. "They have a lot more resources and a lot more talents than we did," Young said.
Fort Valley has hosted the luncheon for more than 20 years.
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