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Flashback to Emphasis ’68: Roy Wilkins

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Forty five years ago this week, The University of Alabama began its second annual symposium on contemporary issues. Known as Emphasis, it ran from 1967-1971, with varying degrees of success. This week, we revisit some of its more memorable speeches and speakers, as chronicled in various Digital Collections here at UA.

Emphasis ’68 was the high water mark of the program, drawing prominent thinkers and politicians who spoke on a variety of hot-button issues. The slate of speakers included Robert F. Kennedy, who had only days before announced his bid for the presidency and who would be killed just a few months later. Hear his speech here.

On March 21, 1968, the first day of the program, Roy Wilkins, the Executive Director of the NAACP, spoke for about an hour on the topic “Race Relations at the Crossroads.”

Wilkins_photo
(Image from the 1969 Corolla yearbook)

For background on Wilkins and a preview of his speech, click on the image below to read an article from UA’s student newspaper, The Crimson-White, in its Emphasis ’68 Special:

Wilkins_article

You can listen to the audio files in Acumen here.

Or for an overview of the speech, click on the image below to read the follow-up article from the March 25, 1968, edition of The Crimson-White:

Wilkins_report_1Wilkins_report_2

This entry was posted in African-American History, Audio, UA History and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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