Doris Wilkinson

December 5, 2010 in 1960s-1970s

Doris Wilkinson seems to have always been a leader. She was born in Lexington Kentucky in 1936 to Regina L. and Howard T. Wilkinson. She loved to read and write poetry and was very popular, even voted prom queen, at Dunbar High school where she graduated in 1954.  In high school she had the drive to succeed working hard at her academics and maintaining a solid social network, both important skills on the road to success.

At the same time Doris graduated from high school the University of Kentucky had just been integrated. At the age of 17, Wilkinson was a member of the first class of African Americans to attend UK.  While attending the University she started a African American social club called the uketts, that functioned like a sorority.  After acquiring her undergrad she went on to graduate school at Case Western.  Threw hard work and determination Doris had become Sociologist and later became known for her work with race theory and sociology of health and illness.

Doris not only was one of the first African Americans to graduate from UK she also was the first female African American to be hired as a fulltime faculty member.  Dores was a professor and an instigator at the university. She founded the Black Woman’s Conference at UK.

She is a published author having written, edited, and compiled numerous books including Guide to the African American heritage in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, Free African Americans of in Casey County during the era of the underground railroad and Directory of African Americans in Lexington, Kentucky, 1893.

This is a video by KET of Wilkinson.

1 response to Doris Wilkinson

  1. Its awesome to learn about this women. To be a member of the first integrated class at uk, to starting her own African American club at the university and then becoming a sociologist who focused her study on race. What a powerful story of someone using all resources given to them and exploiting them inorder to achieve huge goals. To know that she published and edited many finding regarding race in sociology shows her will to change the way black people were treated and viewed in society. Not to mention she was a women, having to over come race and gender barriers could not of been easy.

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