Will D. Campbell and Bridging the Divide Between White and Minority Communities

One of the most important tasks that I think any American political leader needs to be able to do is to bridge the divide between the working class white communities that support Donald Trump and the minority communities that are threatened by Trump. I believe it is possible to reach out to help the struggling white communities in economic distress while still defending minority communities from racism and xenophobia. History gives examples of individuals who were able to appeal to both working class white and minority communities: Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Kennedys, Jesse Jackson. A white Baptist preacher named Will D. Campbell was one figure who was able to reach out to both minority and poor white communities.

Will Campbell was one of three men who shepherded the Little Rock Nine students through an angry white mob before the National Guard was federalized. He was the only white man at the founding of Southern Christian Leadership Conference and he was a friend and confidant of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Andrew Young, John Lewis and others. Campbell worked as a strategist and negotiator at every major civil rights campaign of the movement. In 1963, when four young black girls were killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., Rev. Campbell came to comfort their families.

While Campbell worked in the civil rights movement, he also reached out to the segregationist whites. He visited James Earl Ray, King’s assassin, in prison, and he also ministered to a Ku Klux Klan grand dragon in jail. Campbell spoke out for economic justice for struggling poor white communities in the South.

Campbell began reaching out to white communities at the suggestion of his friend Stokely Carmichael. Carmichael advised white allies in the struggle for black equality to go to white communities and have the conversations on race that these people may be too uncomfortable to have with black individuals.

God's Will from The Center for Public Television on Vimeo.

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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