Wilder: An American First

Wilder: An American First

Fri, 04/13/2012 - 9:00pm

Lawrence Douglas Wilder at his Inauguration as Governor of Virginia in 1990

Photo credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch.

This historical biography traces the life of Lawrence Douglas Wilder, the first elected African-American governor in the United States. Wilder: An American First charts his early years waiting tables in segregated country clubs and hotels during the Depression, to the narrow and heated 1989 race for governor of Virginia to his failed campaign for the 1991 Democratic presidential nomination. Often flamboyant, and known as a shrewd and ruthless politician, Wilder was unafraid to take controversial positions. Wilder: An American First, airing Friday, April 13, 2012 on WXXI World (DT21.2/cable 524), explores how one man became one of the world's most powerful black leaders without ever embracing the evangelical messages popular among other African-American politicians. The documentary, narrated by actor Blair Underwood, features first-hand accounts and commentary by family, journalists, colleagues and friends, including Bill Cosby.