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On Joe Hicks and his path from radical left to conservatism




Civil rights activist and commentator Joe Hicks at a 2015 KPCC forum on the Watts riots. He died August 28, 2016, at the age of 75.
Civil rights activist and commentator Joe Hicks at a 2015 KPCC forum on the Watts riots. He died August 28, 2016, at the age of 75.
KPCC

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The voice of civil rights activist and community leader Joe Hicks has been silenced.

He died Sunday from post-surgical complications at St. Johns Health Center in Santa Monica. He was 75 years old.

Hicks was a frequent political commentator on KPCC's "AirTalk," and was a guest on the show's 50th anniversary special on the Watts Riots.

There, Hicks recalled the harsh reality for African-Americans in L.A. during the riots, and spoke of an encounter during the unrest in which Coast Guard officers used a racial epithet against him. 

Hicks was born in Southern California in July 1941 and was a militant leftist in the Black Power movement during the Watts Riots, according to an obituary sent out by his organization, Community Advocates.

In the early 1990s, Hicks was executive director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of civil rights group the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Hicks also co-founded the Multi-Cultural Collaborative, intended to improve ethnic relations in the wake of the L.A. Riots. He debated former Klansman David Duke at Cal State Northridge in 1996.

By the mid-1990s, Hicks' political views had changed; he identified more as an independent conservative.

Read the full story here.

Guest: 

David Pizarro, professor of psychology at Cornell University, whose research focuses on moral judgment, and the role of emotion in politics.