Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Wilkins, Roy (1901–1981)

Wilkins started his lifelong work in civil rights as a journalist from Missouri. He took over the NAACP Crisis magazine from W. E. B. Du Bois in the 1930s, and helped bring Brown to the Court. He joined A. Philip Randolph and Arnold Aronson in forming the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights in 1950 and became executive secretary of the NAACP in 1955. He worked on the March on Washington in 1963, the Selma-Montgomery marches in 1965, and advised Presidents from Kennedy to Carter on civil rights issues. He helped pass the Civil Rights Acts of the 1950s and 1960s and increased membership from 25,000 in 1930 to 400,000 when he stepped down in 1977.