Judge Robert Wilkins Talks: Why He Supports the New African American History and Culture Museum

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In this must see CBS interview, Judge Robert Wilkins of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit talks about his personal experiences with racism–Driviing While Black and as a public defender.

His brief encounter in the year 1992 with a State Trooper propelled him to support building the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. On the day Wilkin’s was pulled over by a Maryland state trooper, his only crime was “driving while black.” Wilkins recalls that at the time, his Harvard Law Degree nor his role as a public defender mattered. What mattered is that he was on the highway in a rental car and the state trooper had instructions to stop blacks in rental cars because “they” were the drug dealers.

Watch the CBS News video of Judge Robert Wilkins.

The Smithsonian Museum’s Mantra: “A Peoples’ Journey, A Nations’ Story,” is made possible by the contributions of the likes of people like Judge Wilkins and to countless citizens from the church pews to former U.S. Presidents, black celebrities,and Oprah Winfrey.

Winfrey, who contributed $20 Million to the project, described it as “America’s museum” because while the museum “emphasizes African-American history and culture and the contributions,” she said they obviously “did not happen alone, so it’s about the cooperation between all of us that has allowed us to stand as a nation.”

“Wonderful story about this is, of course there were large donors, but it’s the $25 and the $100 and the $15 and Alfred Street Baptist Church – which came together rand gave a million dollars through all of their members – that makes this really America’s museum,” Winfrey said. Read more from CBS News…

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