Shadow Politics, September 9, 2018
Our guest this week is Professor Edward Schmitt, an Associate Professor of History at UW-Parkside, currently working on a book about the unique role of activist and humorist Dick Gregory in the social movements of the 1960s. Dick Gregory (Richard Claxton Gregory) was an African-American comedian, civil rights activist, social critic, writer, conspiracy theorist, entrepreneur, and occasional actor. During the turbulent 1960s, Gregory became a pioneer in stand-up comedy for his "no-holds-barred" sets, in which he mocked bigotry and racism. He performed primarily to black audiences at segregated clubs until 1961, when he became the first black comedian to successfully cross over to white audiences, appearing on television and putting out comedy record albums.
I feel very fortunate to make my professional home in the same region where I grew up. I have been at the University of Wisconsin at Parkside since 2003, and I am regularly amazed by the dedication and determination of our students, who often manage challenging work and family responsibilities. I teach courses on 20th century U.S. history, African American history, race & ethnicity in American history, poverty in U.S., Wisconsin history, and several others. I am currently working on a book about the unique role of activist and humorist Dick Gregory in the social movements of the 1960s and beyond. I have three children, and my wife is also an educator. When I have spare time like to run and collect/repair old stereo equipment.
Shadow Politics is a grass roots talk show giving a voice to the voiceless. For more than 200 years the people of the Nation's Capital have ironically been excluded from the national political conversation. With no voting member of either house of Congress, Washingtonians have lacked the representation they need to be equal and to have their voices heard. Shadow Politics will provide a platform for them, as well as the millions of others nationwide who feel politically disenfranchised and disconnected, to be included in a national dialog.
We need to start a new conversation in America, one that is more inclusive and diverse and one that will lead our great nation forward to meet the challenges of the 21st century. At Shadow Politics, we hope to get this conversation started by bringing Americans together to talk about issues important to them. We look forward to having you be part of the discussion so call in and join the conversation. America is calling and we're listening… Shadow Politics is about America hearing what you have to say. It's your chance to talk to an elected official who has spent more than 30 years in Washington politics. We believe that if we start a dialog and others add their voices we will create a chorus. Even if those other politicians in Washington don't hear you — Senator Brown will. He's on a mission to listen to what America has to say and use it to start a productive dialog to make our democracy stronger and more inclusive. If we are all part of the solution we can solve any problem.