Wiggins launches Civil Rights Baby
TV broadcaster-turned-professor Nita Wiggins delivered Civil Rights Baby on Monday, May 6, 2019, in Paris, France. About thirty smiling well-wishers attended 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 I had 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.
She was riding one of Paris’ community bikes, a Velib, from her apartment back to school when a pleasant memory tickled her.
"I was remembering riding my childhood blue bike with the white banana seat to my elementary school in the mid-1970s. »
The irony is that bike riding has taken the Macon, Georgia, native where she wanted to go.
Always an ambitious child, she’d 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 was laser-focused on becoming an acclaimed journalist in Dallas, Texas.
She knew that achieving the bold goal started with her effort.
She reached her destination in Dallas, winning national and regional broadcasting honors along the way.
During 21 years on American television, Nita crashed reporting barriers and landed exclusive interviews with Muhammad Ali, Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Jerry Jones, Michael Jordan, Cindy Brinker-Simmons, John Daly, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and others.
Covering the legendary Tour de France (a 2,100-mile or 3,400-km cycling championship) four times piqued Nita’s curiosity about living in the country. She made the jump in 2009.
Now located in Paris, France, the author, educator, and social commentator appears on France 24 television as a guest. She specializes in the changing landscapes of politics, race, and women's employment in the U.S.
Unlike most commentators and journalists, Nita correctly foresaw the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. She said 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.
" 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
" 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
" 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