Wilkins, Roy

Wilkins, Roy,

1901–81, American social reformer and civil-rights leader, b. St. Louis, Mo.; grad. Univ. of Minnesota (B.A., 1923). While a student, Wilkins served as secretary of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Upon graduation, he joined the Kansas City (Mo.) Call, a black weekly newspaper, and was its managing editor until 1931, when he became assistant executive secretary of the NAACP and editor of its official magazine, The Crisis. In 1955 he became executive secretary of the NAACP and in 1965, when the title of the position was changed, executive director, a position he held until 1977. In 1963 he helped organize the historic civil-rights march on Washington, D.C. Devoted to the principle of nonviolence, Wilkins came under increasing attack in the 1960s and early 70s from more militant blacks.

Wilkins, Roy

(1910–81) journalist, civil rights leader; born in St. Louis, Mo. Reared by an aunt and uncle in St. Paul, Minn., he was editor of his school paper (1923) and after graduation edited an African-American weekly, the St. Paul Appeal, before joining the staff of the Kansas City Call, a leading black weekly. He left the Call (1931) to serve as executive assistant secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and editor of the organization's newspaper, Crisis (1934–49). He was named acting secretary of the NAACP (1949) and executive secretary (1955–77). He was considered one of the most articulate spokesmen for the more moderate wing of the civil rights movement, eventually winning praise from Jesse Jackson and other younger African-American leaders.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cwm outscored their visitors four tries to three, Alex Wilkins, Roy Bayliss, Chris Jones and Dylan Loughor all going over for the home side, while Craig Jones was in fine form with the boot, notching up 15 points.