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Image courtesy of Fisk University Franklin Library, Special Collections.

Audio courtesy of Yale University.

Stephen Wright

Feb. 15, 1964
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Stephen Wright
Stephen Wright Bio

Dr. Stephen J. Wright (1910-1996) was the son of a physician in Dillon, South Carolina. He received his doctoral degree from New York University in 1942. He served as president of Fisk University from 1957 through 1966. He was the second African American to serve in this position at Fisk University. He also served as an expert witness in many desegregation cases, including Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. Following his retirement from Fisk in 1966, Wright was elected president of the United Negro College Fund. 


Wright discusses the civil rights movement in Nashville and how it is different from movements in the North and the “deep” South. He discusses the involvement of students and faculty at Fisk University with the civil rights movement, and he recalls that faculty members attended the March on Washington in 1963. He explains his views on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Booker T. Washington. Wright laments the lack of knowledge about the history of the civil rights movement among young black men and women. Wright also gives some information about the development of his own views and philosophies by describing the role of his grandmother, a former slave, in his early life.


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