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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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Walter White [1893-1945] was a blond haired, blue-eyed boy

who belied his African American ancestry.

 

 

Books by Walter White

 

The Fire in the Flint (novel,1924) / Flight (novel,1926)  / Rope and Faggot: A Biography of Judge Lynch (1929)

How far the Promised Land? 955) / A Man Called White (autobiography,1948).

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Books on Lynching & Racial Violence

 

 The Chronological History of the Negro in America (1969) /  Strain of Violence: Historical Studies of American Violence and Vigilantism (1975)

 

 But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction (1984) / Lynch Law ( 1905)  / An American Dilemma (1944)

 

The Crucible of Race: Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation (1984) / Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. (1989)

 

Rope and Faggot ( 1929)  /  The Tragedy of Lynching (1933)  /  Race Riot in East St, Louis (1964)  / Urban Racial Violence (1976)

 

Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (1968)  /  Violence in America (1969)

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White: The Biography 

of Walter White, Mr. NAACP

By Kenneth Janken

 

A publishing landmark, the first biography of the man who brought the NAACP to national prominence.

Walter White was one of the most important civil rights leaders of the fist half of the twentieth century. He was executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He pushed for a national effort to achieve political, economic and social rights for African Americans.

Walter White [1893-1945] was a blond haired, blue-eyed boy who belied his African American ancestry. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia. following graduation from Atlanta University in 1916, he worked for an insurance company. His civil rights career began when he organized a protest against the Atlanta Board of Education's plan to drop 7th grade for black students in order to finance the building of a new white high school. After founding the the Atlanta branch of the NAACP, he moved on to become assistant secretary for the organization's national staff in 1918. By 1931, he was executive secretary -- the highest position in the organization.

White married his first wife, Gladys Powell, in 1922. The Whites' apartment which they moved into in 1929, was known as "The House of Harlem" because of the prominent and important figures who were guests there. Ms. White and her daughter lived there until 1961. Gladys and Walter were divorced shortly before they moved out of "The House of Harlem."

During this same period, White also wrote several books including two novels, The Fire in the Flint (1924) and Flight (1926), as well as a study of the factors behind lynching, Rope and Faggot: A Biography of Judge Lynch (1929). He also wrote How far the Promised Land?; (1955) and an autobiography, A Man Called White (1948).

As leader of the NAACP, White led the flight for anti lynching legislation - a cause he was familiar with, having investigated more than forty such deaths. During his tenure, the NAACP also launched major legal campaigns to end white primaries, poll taxes and segregated housing and education. In 1937 White received the Spingarn Medal for his investigations of lynchings and lobbying for the anti-lynching bill (defeated by a narrow margin in 1938).

With A. Phillip Randolph, he persuaded Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue an executive order in 1941 prohibiting racial discrimination in defense industries and establishing the Fair Employment Practices Commission. His work as a foreign correspondent during World War 2, resulted in another book, A Rising Wind, (1945) which exposed the discrimination black soldiers faced and influenced the president Harry Truman's 1948 order to desegregate the armed forces. That same year he also persuaded Truman to appoint a presidential committee on civil rights. The committee's report became the basis of the Democratic party's platform plank on civil rights in 1948.

Although White primarily focused on improving conditions for African Americans he recognized the international implications of the race issue and devoted time and effort to them. He was a delegate to the Second Pan-African Congress in 1921 and a member of the Advisory Council for the government of the Virgin Islands in 1934 through 1935. He was also an advisor to the United States delegation to the founding conference of the United Nations in 1945 and to the 1948 General Assembly session in Paris.

White remained executive secretary of the NAACP until his death despite periodic internal threats to his leadership. He survived these, but with his power somewhat curtailed by the time of his death in 1955, much of the financial management and supervision of the office had passed to his assistant secretary, Roy Wilkins.

Walter White married his second wife, Poppy Cannon, in 1949, with whom he was living with at the time of his death.

From his earliest years, Walter White was determined to transcend the rigid boundaries of segregation-era America. An African American of exceptionally light complexion, White went undercover as a young man to expose the depredations of Southern lynch mobs. As executive secretary of the NAACP from 1931 until his death in 1955, White was among the nation's preeminent champions of civil rights, leading influential national campaigns against lynching, segregation in the military, and racism in Hollywood movies.

White is portrayed here for the first time in his full complexity, a man whose physical appearance enabled him to negotiate two very different worlds in segregated America, yet who saw himself above all as an organization man, "Mr. NAACP." Deeply researched and richly documented, White's biography provides a revealing vantage point from which to view the leading political and cultural figures of his time—including W.E.B. DuBois, Eleanor Roosevelt, and James Weldon Johnson—and an unrivaled glimpse into the contentious world of civil rights politics and activism in the pre-civil rights era.

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Walter Francis White (July 1, 1893, Atlanta, Georgia – March 21, 1955, New York, New York) was an African American who became a spokesman for his community in the United States for almost a quarter of a century, and served as executive secretary (1931–1955) of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He graduated from Atlanta University in 1916 (now Clark Atlanta University). In 1918 he joined the small national staff of the NAACP in New York at the invitation of James Weldon Johnson. White acted as Johnson's assistant national secretary. In 1931 he succeeded him at the helm of the NAACP.

White oversaw the plans and organizational structure of the fight against public segregation. Under his leadership, the NAACP set up the Legal Defense Fund, which raised numerous legal challenges to segregation and disfranchisement, and achieved many successes. Among these was the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, which determined that segregated education was inherently unequal. He was the virtual author of President Truman's presidential order desegregating the armed forces after the Second World War. White also quintupled NAACP membership to nearly 500,000.In addition to his NAACP work, White was a journalist, novelist, and essayist, and influential in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.  Wikipedia.

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Kenneth R. Janken

Education:
B.A., M.A. (History)  Hunter College of the City University of New York
Ph. D. (American History)  Rutgers University

Dr. Kenneth Janken is an African and Afro-American studies professor and an adjunct professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
Email: krjanken@email.unc.edu

 

TEACHING INTERESTS:  In addition to our department's survey course on the black experience, I teach the civil rights movement, the Harlem Renaissance, and black thought.  In the next several semesters, I would like to introduce courses on black politics and African American biography and autobiography.  I am on the faculty advisory board of the Office of Undergraduate Research, and I am a firm believer that all undergraduates should have such an experience at least once in their time at Carolina.

RESEARCH INTERESTS:  So far my research has concentrated on 20th century African American history, with a special emphasis on the varieties of black intellectual and political thought and action and the connections between African Americans and the world.  I am the author of Rayford W. Logan and the Dilemma of the African American Intellectual (1993), which is a biography of a prominent and important scholar and Pan-African activist; .  I am also completing a biography of Walter White, who was a Harlem Renaissance author and who was the head of the NAACP from 1930 to his death in 1955.  I have written several articles on these two historical figures, as well as an article on African American intellectuals and their relations with their French-speaking black counterparts during the 1920s and 1930s.

OTHER INTERESTS:  I love baseball, both watching it and playing it.  I also have a busy family life, what with a spouse and two young children.

 

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Bill Moyers Interviews Douglass A. Blackmon

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/06202008/watch2.html

Douglas A. Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (2008)

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Standing Fast: The Autobiography of Roy Wilkins

By Roy Wilkins and Tom Mathews

History will remember Roy Wilkins (1901–1981) as one of the great leaders of the twentieth century for his contributions to the advancement of civil rights in America. For nearly half a century—first as assistant secretary, also succeeding W. E. B. Dubois as editor of The Crisis, and finally succeeding Walter White as executive director—Roy Wilkins served and led the NAACP in their fight for justice for African Americans. Wilkins was a relentless pragmatist who advocated progressive change through legal action.

He participated or led in the achievement of every major civil rights advance, working for the integration of the army, helping to plan and organize the historic march on Washington, and pushing every president from Franklin Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter to implement civil rights legislation. This is a dramatic story of one man's struggle for his people's rights, as well as a vivid recollection of the events and the people that have shaped modern black history.—Da Capo Press

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Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change

By John Lewis

The Civil Rights Movement gave rise to the protest culture we know today, and the experiences of leaders like Congressman Lewis have never been more relevant. Now, more than ever, this nation needs a strong and moral voice to guide an engaged population through visionary change. Congressman John Lewis was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and played a key role in the struggle to end segregation. Despite more than forty arrests, physical attacks, and serious injuries, John Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. He is the author of his autobiography, Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of a Movement, and is the recipient of numerous awards from national and international institutions, including the Lincoln Medal; the John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage” Lifetime Achievement Award (the only one of its kind ever awarded); the NAACP Spingarn Medal; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, among many others.

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White: The Biography 

of Walter White, Mr. NAACP

By Kenneth Janken

A publishing landmark, the first biography of the man who brought the NAACP to national prominence. From his earliest years, Walter White was determined to transcend the rigid boundaries of segregation-era America. An African American of exceptionally light complexion, White went undercover as a young man to expose the depredations of Southern lynch mobs. As executive secretary of the NAACP from 1931 until his death in 1955, White was among the nation's preeminent champions of civil rights, leading influential national campaigns against lynching, segregation in the military, and racism in Hollywood movies. White is portrayed here for the first time in his full complexity, a man whose physical appearance enabled him to negotiate two very different worlds in segregated America, yet who saw himself above all as an organization man, "Mr. NAACP."

Deeply researched and richly documented, White's biography provides a revealing vantage point from which to view the leading political and cultural figures of his time—including W.E.B. DuBois, Eleanor Roosevelt, and James Weldon Johnson—and an unrivaled glimpse into the contentious world of civil rights politics and activism in the pre-civil rights era.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        

Enjoy!

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 26 May 2012

 

 

 

Home    Civil Rights: Struggle for Black Power   Lynching Index    Fifty Influential Figures 

Related files:  Roy Wilkins and Spiro Agnew in Annapolis   Commentary on "Color Line and War"     The American Institution of Lynching    Walter White on Lynching 

Letter from Eleanor Roosevelt   Editorials on Lynching     Walter White Biography  Walter White Biography Table  Walter White Reviews