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Andrew Young's daughter weds with MLK's granddaughter as flower girl

Andrew Young and daughter Andrea
Photo Credit: Erika Layne Photography

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Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, served as flower girl during the recent wedding of Andrea Idelle Young, daughter of former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, and art consultant Jerry Thomas Jr. The wedding was held March 8 at La Fontaine Bleue in Glen Burnie, Md. 

The bride, daughter of the former mayor and United Nations ambassador and the late Jean Childs Young, is an attorney and executive director of the Atlanta-based Andrew J. Young Foundation.The groom, also an attorney, is the founder of Jerry Thomas Arts, an art consulting and art brokerage firm that specializes in African and African American art.Both have family, business and educational ties to the Washington D.C. area.

Andrea Young Thomas graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Law, and Jerry Thomas Jr., the son of Estell Thomas and the late Jerry Thomas Sr. of Washington, earned his law degree at George Washington University.

Andrew Young, in attendance with his wife, Carolyn Young, escorted his daughter down the aisle. Olympic Gold Medalist Edwin Moses served as best man.The bride’s sisters, Paula Young Shelton and Lisa Young Alston, served as matrons of honor with Yolanda Renee King, the only grandchild of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, as flower girl.The groom’s brother, Rev. Nathaniel Thomas, conducted the ceremony.

The couple met 2008 when Andrea Young visited Thomas' in-home art gallery. Some 30 years before, while Thomas was serving as a Congressional aide, he met the man would be become his future father-in-law.

Andrea Young recently participated in international conferences in the United Arab Emirates, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo, and led a delegation to Senegal to develop 21st century uses for traditional medicine. She has led the African development program for the United Church of Christ.

Earlier, as a legislative aide to U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, she worked to adopt the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Act and to impose economic sanctions against South Africa under apartheid. She is the author of "Life Lessons My Mother Taught Me," a reflection on her upbringing as the daughter of a children’s rights activist and educator. She also contributed to her father’s memoir, "An Easy Burden: Civil Rights and the Transformation of America."

Thomas, a former telecommunications lawyer who studied at The Hague Academy of International Law, moved to Atlanta in 1987 as Director of the Goodwill Games, a division of Turner Broadcasting Systems.Afterwards, he resumed a law career representing clients involving major artists, art institutions and collectors.

In 2013, he set a record price for the sale of a Thornton Dial artwork on paper to record producer Swizz Beatz.  In 2012, Thomas’ own Romare Bearden collection was featured when the Romare Bearden Foundation hired him to curate the art for Atlanta’s observance of the artist’s 100th birthday. In addition, Thomas recently became strategic consultant to Martin Luther King III, and is a founding board member of the Edwin Moses Foundation, an initiative supporting science, technology, engineering, and math education.

The couple lives in Grant Park.

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