8 Questions with Juan Conde: L. Douglas Wilder

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Welcome to our third installment of 8 Questions with Juan Conde where we will find out what makes people in our great community tick. Juan asks his guests to answer just eight questions about their business, their life, and their time here in Richmond.

Conde’s guest for this installment is former Virginia Gov. and former Richmond Mayor L. Douglas Wilder. According to his Virginia Commonwealth University bio, Wilder was the first African-American to be elected governor in the U.S., leading the commonwealth of Virginia from 1990 to 1994. As governor, he was commended for his sound fiscal management and balancing the state budget during difficult economic times. Financial World magazine ranked Virginia as the best-managed state in the U.S. for two consecutive years under his administration. He served as Virginia’s lieutenant governor from 1986 to 1990.

“Today in the world, 22 million live in slavery and there are people living in slavery in America – not to the extent that we’re speaking of. And, it’s not racial in many instances.” — L. Douglas Wilder

Serving as a state senator representing Richmond from 1969 to 1985, Wilder became the first African-American state senator in Virginia since Reconstruction. During his five terms as state senator, he chaired committees on transportation, rehabilitation and social services, privileges and elections, the Virginia Advisory Legislative Council and the Senate Steering Committee, which appoints committee members. He successfully sponsored Virginia’s first drug paraphernalia law and the compulsory school attendance law.

Wilder was also paramount in pushing for moving Richmond to a mayor-strong form of government in 2003. Wilder then ran for mayor and served as such from 2005-2009.

Here is a little sample of Wilder’s interview:

Juan Conde: Why has it been difficult for so long, forever, to get America to erect a museum to slave?

L. Douglas Wilder: Because no one, literally no one, wants to talk about it. You’d be surprised. Well, you’ve got a Black History Museum – that’s a Black History Museum – that’s different.

Today in the world, 22 million live in slavery and there are people living in slavery in America – not to the extent that we’re speaking of. And, it’s not racial in many instances. People are coming from other countries; they run out of money; they’re subjected to prostitution.

Juan Conde: Human trafficking.

L. Douglas Wilder: Human trafficking. And they are living in enslaved positions. And, we know that there are countries that still practice it.

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