Historian and Civil Rights Leader Roger Wilkins to Discuss 'Can the Democratic Party Survive George W. Bush?'
April 9, 2006
April 9, 2006, Greencastle, Ind. - Civil rights leader, professor of history, and journalist Roger Wilkins will return to the DePauw University campus on Monday, April 17, as a guest of The Gertrude and G.D. Crain Jr. Lecture Series. Wilkins will discuss "Can the Democratic Party Survive George W. Bush?" in a program that begins at 4:15 p.m. at Watson Forum of DePauw's Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media. The event is free and open to all.
An assistant attorney general in President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration, Wilkins later joined the editorial staff of the Washington Post, where, along with Carl Bernstein, Herbert Block, and Bob Woodward, he earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for exposing the Watergate scandal that eventually forced President Richard Nixon's resignation from office. Wilkins also wrote for the New York Times and Washington Star, and for more than a quarter century has provided commentaries for National Public Radio.
Wilkins is Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History and American Culture at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and is publisher of the NAACP's journal Crisis. His book, Jefferson's Pillow: The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma of Black Patriotism won the 2002 NAIBA Book Award for Adult Non-Fiction.
During an April 11, 2003 speech at the national symposium hosted by DePauw, "Political Education and the Modern University", Wilkins stated, [Download Audio: "The Constitution" 334KB] "How the Constitution and American values have dealt with the issue of black people in America is, in my view, an incredible story. It's a 384-year arc from the first black people who were brought here in shackles to Jamestown in 1619, to now. And it has produced this struggle -- freedom and equality for some black people, but leaving enormous and heartbreaking work still to be done."
At "DePauw Discourse 2004: Issues for America," Wilkins opined: [Download Video: "Growing Gap" - 582kb] "The gap between the blacks who have and the blacks who don't have is greater than it ever was." He also appeared as a guest of The Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture Series in 1997.
Endowed by Rance Crain, president of Crain Communications and a member of DePauw's Class of 1960, The Gertrude and G.D. Crain Jr. Lecture Series honors Mr. Crain's parents. On April 5, David Keene, chair of the American Conservative Union, deliberated the question "Can the Republican Party Survive George W. Bush?" Other previous Crain Lecturers have included: New Orleans-based journalist Clancy DuBos; Wall Street Journal reporter and 1996 DePauw graduate Aaron Lucchetti, who discussed his experiences covering Hurricane Katrina; award-winning reporter Jerry Mitchell and civil rights activist Rita Bender, the widow of slain civil rights worker Michael Schwerner; Samantha Power, author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide; Emily Wax, Africa Bureau Chief of the Washington Post, and her husband, Raymond Thibodeaux, who also covers the region for Cox News, Voice of America and the Boston Globe; Father Richard P. McBrien (seen at left), Crowley-O'Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and a consultant to ABC News for papal events; political analyst Charlie Cook; military sociologist Charles Moskos; historian Douglas Brinkley, author of Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War; and Joe Trippi, who managed Howard Dean's presidential campaign.Back