Ronald Walters Loved Black Politics, Black Press

By James Wright, Special to the AFRO, jwright@afro.com

The trade association of African-American owned newspaper recently honored one of the leading scholars regarding Black politics.

On March 27, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) honored the late Dr. Ronald Walters, who was a Black political scholar, at the Thurgood Marshall Center in the District of Columbia. The event was also co-sponsored by Ronald W. Waters Leadership and Public Policy Center, Howard University, in conjunction with the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.

Dr. Ronald Walters (Courtesy Photo)

“This is a special time to honor Dr. Walters,” Dr. Elsie Scott, the director of Howard’s Ronald Walters Center. “His spirit is in this room. I am happy the NNPA reached out to us. He loved the Black press and believed in the Black press.”

Walters was born on July 29, 1938 in Wichita, Kansas. In 1958, he led other young Blacks in a successful sit-in protest of the Dockum Drug Store in Wichita for refusing to serve African Americans and this took place two years before the more highly publicized Greensboro, N.C. sit-ins.

Walters graduated from Fisk University in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and eventually got a master’s degree in African Studies in 1966 and a doctorate in international studies in 1971, both from American University. He had teaching stints at Syracuse University and Princeton University and was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

In 1969, he became the chairman of the Afro-American Studies department at Brandeis University. He came to Howard University in 1971 and became chairman of the political science department before leaving it in 1996 to become the head of the Afro-American studies department at the University of Maryland,…

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