Author Stokes Oliver to talk at WSU April 1

2:15:03 PM CDT - Friday, March 11, 2005

Stephanie Stokes Oliver, the author of the recently published "Song for My Father: Memoir of an All-American Family," will give a lecture at 7 p.m. Friday, April 1, at the Eugene M. Hughes Metropolitan Complex.

Oliver's father was the late Judge Charles M. Stokes, who was born in Fredonia, Kan., and raised in Pratt, Kan. Stokes was a prominent member of the National Republican Party. The jacket of Oliver's book relates a second-grade incident when Oliver revealed she would follow her father's lead in voting for Richard Nixon in a mock election that brought home the significance of her father's political affiliation.

Known as "Stokey," Judge Stokes was a black pioneer in the fields of law and politics. When he learned that only one black lawyer was practicing in Seattle, he and his family moved from Kansas to Seattle, and he started practicing law there in 1943. He became the city's first black state legislator and the state's first black district court judge.

Oliver, who is editor-at-large with Essence magazine, will share her memories and experiences of growing up in the turbulent 1960s, when her views clashed many times with those of her father.
Oliver is also president of SSO Communications, a publishing and new-media consulting firm in the New York area, and she writes a column called On Purpose for NiaOnline, a popular Internet community for black women.

Oliver's lecture, which is presented by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and co-sponsored by the Student Government Association, is free and open to the public.

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