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Roy Wilkins

Roy Ottoway Wilkins (August 30, 1901 – September 8, 1981) was a prominent activist in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the 1930s to the 1970s.[1] [2] Wilkins most notable role was in his leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).[2]

Wilkins was born in St. Louis, Missouri on August 30, 1901.[3] His father was not present for his birth, having fled the town in fear of being lynched after he refused demands to step away and yield the sidewalk to a white man.[3] When he was four years old, his mother died from tuberculosis, after which Wilkins and his siblings were raised by an aunt and uncle in an integrated community of St. Paul, Minnesota, where they attended local schools.[4] His nephew was Roger Wilkins. Wilkins graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in sociology in 1923.[3]

In 1929, he married social worker Aminda Minnie Badeau; the couple had no children of their own, but the couple did raise the two children of Hazel Wilkins-Colton, a writer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

While attending college, Wilkins worked as a journalist at The Minnesota Daily and became editor of The Appeal, an African-American newspaper. After he graduated he became the editor of The Call in 1923.

His confrontation of the Jim Crow Laws led his activist work and in 1931, he moved to New York City as assistant NAACP secretary under Walter Francis White. When W. E. B. Du Bois left the organization in 1934, Wilkins replaced him as editor of The Crisis, the official magazine of the NAACP. From 1949-50, Wilkins chaired the National Emergency Civil Rights Mobilization, which comprised more than 100 local and national groups.

He served as an adviser to the War Department during World War II.

In 1950, Wilkins — along with A. Philip Randolph, founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and Arnold Aronson,[5] a leader of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council — founded the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR). LCCR has

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