The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded Andrew Young with the Trustees Lifetime Achievement Emmy on Friday night for being one of the first to integrate television with his Peabody Award-winning series, Look Up and Live.
Harry Belafonte, Hank Aaron and Dan Rather were among the many stars who attended the event. Maya Angelou, who narrated the ceremony along with Sidney Poiter, paid tribute to Young and his dedication to equal rights.
"Long before he transformed Atlanta, long before he was United Nations ambassador, long before he was elected Georgia's first black congressman since Reconstruction, even before he met Dr. Martin L. King Jr. and set out to redeem the very fabric of this country through a campaign of nonviolent social change, before all that, Andrew Young got his start in television," Angelou said.
AOL Black Voices caught up with Young after the event:
Black Voices: How does it feel to receive this honor?
Andrew Young: "It's flattering, yet it's hard for me to take it too personally, because I think all of the people that have pushed me along and propped me up.
BV: How did it feel to integrate television?
AY: You know, that had never occurred to me [that I did that]. I mean, when I came up here in 1957, I was a consultant on CBS on "Look Up and Live," and we were trying to find ways to use television to just get young people to think seriously about life. It was a religious program, but we didn't want it to be preachy and we didn't want it to be traditional religion so we used jazz, we used the spirituals, we used. … Dick Van Dyke did a pantomime. It was really breaking ground in many ways, not just racially. …