Chris Preitauer is a unique voice on race and racial healing in America. As a white man with an “unequivocal calling” to speak freely about America’s original sin, he recognizes that the seeds of our collective healing are only won through soul-searching and acknowledgement of fact. Convinced that America can be redeemed, Chris is committed to telling the oft-avoided truth about our painful racial past….and present.
At the age of seven, Chris’s mother sat him in front of the television to watch the miniseries Roots (about American slavery). His mind was permanently scarred by the brutalization of Kunta Kinte, later realizing that this happened to over 100 million innocent lives. Shortly thereafter, Chris was sucker punched by his brother Lee for referring to his black friend Floyd as “Kunta Kinte” and later gave Chris a copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X for Christmas. The impact of these three experiences, at an especially formative time, changed Chris’s thinking forever.
During college, Chris co-founded and, to the confusion of most, served as Vice-President of the Black Student Union at Grossmont College in El Cajon, CA. While attending Grossmont, Chris was mentored almost daily by distinguished Black Studies Professor Dr. Curtis L. Stevens. Dr. Stevens began his own academic career by sneaking-in to the “whites-only” library during the days of Jim Crow.
Chris began his grass-roots activism by working full-time for Triple Crown, a gang and drug diversion non-profit in one of San Diego’s most economically challenged areas. At that time, he became a member of the Steering Committee for San Diego’s “Summer of Peace” which partnered with the NAACP and the Urban League in an effort to end shooting deaths in San Diego. He also volunteered regularly at The Center for Parent Involvement In Education under the direction of esteemed activist Walter Kudumu.
Chris initiated his own civil rights-related internship by traveling to virtually every key historic civil rights location in the United States to learn from those who suffered and triumphed during the Civil Rights Movement. Among those interviewed were whites who had famously defended segregation. This “internship” culminated with Chris being present in the Birmingham, Alabama courtroom when infamous Klansman Tommy Blanton was convicted of the 1963 bombing of 16th St. Baptist Church which killed four little girls and led to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Starting in the 2000’s, Chris began educating on the issues of race, racism, racial healing, and The Civil Rights Movement. He speaks at corporations, schools, churches, museums, and community events. To arrange a speaking engagement for Chris Preitauer, click the “Bookings” link at the top of this website.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Television and Film Production from San Diego State University. He is proud owner of one of the largest privately-owned black history collections in the United States (see “The Collection” link at the top of this page). Chris is producer of the “Our Story” Civil Rights video series (see “Our Story Series” link at top of this page).
Click HERE for Chris’ page with The Legends of the Movement.
Selected Past Lectures/Speech Topics Include:
- White Guilt and the Defensive Caucasian
- Why “Black Lives Matter” Matters
- The Criminal Injustice System: Disparate Sentencing and the Prison Population Explosion
- Developing the Race-Appreciative Child
- Promoting Diversity in Education and Corporate America
- Police Brutality: Redeeming the Badge
- Talking About Race Without Losing Friends
- King’s “Beloved Community”: How We Get There
- How Nonviolence Changed the World
- Race Hypocrisy: Dems AND Repubs
- Religion and Race
- Christianity During Slavery
- The Civil Rights Primer