Civil Rights Baby, memoir of a brave woman who changes her life
" It had to be difficult to be a woman in sports reporting at the time, but Nita became a reporter on the Dallas Cowboys beat. Like athletes, she beats the odds! "
― Everson Walls
NFL player with Cowboys, Giants, and Browns from 1981 to 1993
(PARIS, France) TV broadcaster-turned-professor Nita Wiggins delivered Civil Rights Baby on Monday, May 6, 2019, in Paris, France. About thirty smiling well-wishers attend the joyful event on the campus of ESJ-Paris, the author’s employer since 2009.
"The morning after the launch, I had to return to school to pick up some books because more readers were waiting for their copies. Though it was my 55th birthday, I felt eight years old! I had such glee. My laughter bubbled up—and out, » Nita says.
"I was remembering riding my childhood blue bike with the white banana seat to my elementary school in the mid-1970s. »
Bike riding has often taken the Macon, Georgia, native where she wanted to go.
There’s long been a connection between two wheels and mobility in her life, and it tickles her to think about it. Now she’s riding one of Paris’ community bikes, a Velib, to deliver her newly-released memoir and share the details of a life of self-motivation and constant motion.
The ambitious child would briskly pedal home from school to set up her workspace on the family kitchen table. There, she routinely do seven hours of homework. From primary school forward, she focuses laser-like on becoming an acclaimed journalist in Dallas, Texas.
She knew that achieving her bold goal started with her effort.
" I really appreciate the stories of brave women who managed to change their lives. That shows us that we can fulfill our dreams, not being afraid to have big ones. "
― Perrine Sheer
Women’s Press Studies
L’Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme de Paris
Class of 2017
She reaches her destination in Dallas, winning national and regional broadcasting honors along the way. During 21 years on American television, Nita crashes reporting barriers, lands exclusive interviews, and interacts with 20th century icons in unique and memorable ways. But it’s a career fraught with dismissive managers who disregard the Civil Rights Act which makes workplace, gender-based limitations illegal.
So Nita changes directions. She starts pedaling toward something inconceivable in her childhood dreams. And it’s in France.
Covering the grueling Tour de France (a 2,100-mile or 3,400-km) cycling championship four times piques Nita’s curiosity about living in the country. She makes the jump in 2009.
These days, the firmly established Paris, France-based author, educator, and social commentator appears on France 24 television as a guest panelist. She specializes in the changing landscapes of politics, race, women's employment, and societal shifts in the U.S. as points of discussion.
Unlike most commentators and journalists, Nita correctly predicts the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. She says on-air during a France 24 show that 'Hillary Clinton has not put Candidate Trump away yet—and I'm not sure she will.’ She had previously told ESJ-Paris students in 2015 that Donald Trump could win the Republican Party nomination and, with that, win the General Election in November 2016.
" I just had to take the time to let you know that your work is being noticed. Thank you so much for following your passion for sports and setting a great example for all of us viewers who love to watch. "
― Alicia J.
" Without hesitation, I allowed Nita into my home to do an interview. I always respected her professionalism, and she did a really great job! "
― Rayfield Wright
Pro Football Hall of Famer
Two-time Super Bowl winner with the Dallas Cowboys