Roy Wilkins and the NAACP: A Life Dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement

1800 Words 8 Pages
The life of Roy Wilkins is a story of one of the greatest civil rights leaders the United States has ever known. He was an underdog that came from poor beginnings to become a leader of the NAACP, for twenty-two years. A true example of what someone can do if they put their minds to it, no matter what color they are.

To begin the journey through Roy Wilkins life, we will start with a little biographical information. Roy was born in St. Louis, Mo. On August 30, 1901, as the grandson of a slave. His mother died when he was three years old, so he and his sister were sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle in St. Paul, Mn. There they raised him in a low-income, integrated community. Although he was poor, he did attend
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After the unfortunate death of Executive Secretary Walter White in 1949, Wilkins assumed the position as the leader of the NAACP. Then in 1950, they named him Administrator of Internal Affairs of the NAACP. In 1964, they named him Leadership Director. Also, in 1964, Wilkins received a very prestigious award. He was presented with the NAACPs Medal for distinguished service in civil rights. In 1969, he received the Medal of Freedom from President Richard Nixon. Yet as any good thing does, it came to an end. After twenty-two years as the Executive Director, he retired from the NAACP in 1977.

Then sadly, on September 8, 1981, he died in New York City at the age of eighty years old.

Roy Wilkins approach to gaining civil rights for blacks was different from others of his time. Unlike some of his counterparts, he felt that blacks needed to take a nonviolent approach to gaining civil rights. He thought that student sit-ins and general civil disobedience were all right, but preferred a legal approach, with court hearings, negotiations, etc. In 1959, he publically rebuked the Monroe, N. Carolina chapter of the NAACP because of its vigorous assertion of blacks rights to self defense. He preferred passive resistance.

Sometimes people wonder what would make others chose a certain job over others, and then

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