Fulwood III

Senior Fellow


Sam Fulwood III

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Sam Fulwood III is a nonresident senior fellow at American Progress. He is also the former director and founder of American Progress’ Leadership Institute, a program to assist with the advancement of people of color in public policy.

In an earlier profession, Fulwood was a metro columnist at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio, the last stop in a nearly three-decade journalism career that featured posts at several metropolitan newspapers. During the 1990s, he was a national correspondent in the Washington, D.C., bureau of the Los Angeles Times, where he contributed to the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

He has also worked as a business editor and state political editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; as an assistant city editor, business reporter, editorial writer, and Johannesburg, South Africa, bureau correspondent for the Baltimore Sun; and as a police, business, and sports reporter at The Charlotte Observer.

Fulwood is the author of two books: Waking from the Dream: My Life in the Black Middle Class (Anchor, 1996) and Full of It: Strong Words and Fresh Thinking for Cleveland (Gray & Company, 2004).

Fulwood earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1978.


Compact View

A Black History Lesson for the Ages Article
President Donald Trump meets with leaders of historically black colleges and universities in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, February 27, 2017. ((AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais))

A Black History Lesson for the Ages

A group of HBCU presidents failed to share their history of struggle with the president but endured grossly out-of-touch remarks from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and an embarrassing photo op as Black History Month ends.

Sam Fulwood III

President Trump Has Cheapened the Dignity of His Office Article
A woman holds up her cell phone before a rally with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump in Bedford, New Hampshire, September 29, 2016. ((AP/John Locher))

President Trump Has Cheapened the Dignity of His Office

The president’s recent comments and behavior serve to undermine the nation’s democratic ideals and foster a creeping sense of nihilism about the institutions that serve public interests.

Sam Fulwood III

The Real Effect of Trump’s Muslim Ban Article
Abdullah Alghazali, right, hugs his 13-year-old son Ali Abdullah Alghazali after the Yemeni boy arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Sunday, February 5, 2017. (AP/Alexander F. Yuan)

The Real Effect of Trump’s Muslim Ban

President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban keeps innocent people from traveling to the United States, but does little to make the United States safer.

Sam Fulwood III

Bending Toward Justice Article
People walk past a mural of former South African President Nelson Mandela in Katlehong, south of Johannesburg, South Africa, May 2015. ((AP/Themba Hadebe))

Bending Toward Justice

The rise of Donald Trump possesses parallels to apartheid South Africa—but the best course of action in the face of dangerous political setbacks is to stand in unwavering opposition at every turn.

Sam Fulwood III

The Complex American Response to Castro’s Death Article
Cuban President Fidel Castro, right, and South African leader Nelson Mandela celebrate the Day of the Revolution in Matanzas, Cuba, on July 27, 1991. (AP)

The Complex American Response to Castro’s Death

Varying reactions to Castro’s death offer a somber reminder that oppression and opportunity, often coded by ethnicity and race, are not always clear-cut diametric opposites.

Sam Fulwood III

The Ambitious Activism of Debbie Allen Article
Debbie Allen speaks at the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games on July 25, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP/Rich Fury)

The Ambitious Activism of Debbie Allen

At a recent CAP event, award-winning entertainer Debbie Allen discussed her latest project, “Freeze Frame,” and her hope that it will lead to action in the fight against gun violence.

Sam Fulwood III

Stepping Away from Racism Article
A congregation member prays at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, June 3, 2012. (AP/Gerald Herbert)

Stepping Away from Racism

Purging prejudice from the pews will move America closer toward a long overdue racial reconciliation.

Sam Fulwood III

Police Gone Wild Article
Police advance toward protestors as a store burns following the funeral of Freddie Gray on April 27, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP/Patrick Semansky)

Police Gone Wild

The U.S. Department of Justice’s report on Baltimore chronicles yet another police department that routinely abused its power and violated the civil rights of African Americans.

Sam Fulwood III

A Voting Rights Story Report
North Carolina NAACP president Rev. William Barber, center at podium, speaks at a news conference in Richmond, Virginia, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (AP/Steve Helber)

A Voting Rights Story

Over his nearly 50 years in the North Carolina state legislator, Rep. Mickey Michaux helped increase voting rights and participation. However, recent efforts in the state are putting these advances at risk.

Sam Fulwood III

When Words Fail Us Article
Protesters link arms as they block an intersection in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta during a march against the recent police shootings of African Americans on Monday, July 11, 2016. (AP/David Goldman)

When Words Fail Us

Practical policy reforms—not just more conversation—are needed to address the recent violence between police and the African American community.

Sam Fulwood III

The Greatest of All Time Article
Muhammad Ali peers over a copy of his autobiography,

The Greatest of All Time

Muhammad Ali stood 6 feet 3 inches with a 78-inch reach—but that is only the tale of the tape. In truth, his reach was immeasurable.

Sam Fulwood III

In Response to the Unknown and Faceless Article
Trolls come out from their dark, hidden spaces to write all sorts of nasty comments that they dare not say in public or in polite company.

In Response to the Unknown and Faceless

A recent “Race and Beyond” column about Pat Buchanan got the attention of readers from all corners of the Internet, and many of the responses, while negative, are nonetheless eye-opening.

Sam Fulwood III

When Home Disappears Article
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx speaks at the Center for American Progress on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. (CAP)

When Home Disappears

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx hopes to build a transportation system that works for everyone.

Sam Fulwood III

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