Walter F. White
On August 23, 1923, A Budding Young Writer Named Walter F. White Wrote A Letter To A Potential Publisher, Defending His Novel, The Fire In The Flint, Which Dealt With American Race Relations And Southern Violence.
"I was born in Georgia. For twenty-four years I lived there. Between my junior and senior years in college I sold life insurance in that state, spending nearly four months living in small towns of which Central City is typical. There I talked with and learned to know white and colored people of all classes, particularly the better type. ...since I have been in my present work I have personally investigated thirty-six lynchings and eight race riots. Because of the particular advantage I possess of being able to go either as a white man or colored man I have talked on terms of intimacy with hundreds of white men as one of them and to hundreds, nay thousands of Negroes as one of them. I hope I am not too over confidant when I say that this varied and intimate experience in garnering all shades of opinion should qualify me to speak with some degree of authority on the subject."
Although This Particular Editor Rejected White's Book, Another One Picked It Up. White Went On To Write Several Other Books, Including, Flight (1926) And The Autobiographical, A Man Called White (1969).
White Is Best Known For His Years As Executive Secretary Of The NAACP (1931 - 1955). He Joined The Organization In 1918, As Assistant Secretary Of The National Office In New York City. For Almost A Quarter Of A Century, He Was The Leading Voice Of Black America.
Living In New York During The Roaring Twenties, He Became One Of The Harlem Renaissance's Most Prolific Writers. Not Only Did He Contribute His Own Innovative Writings, He Also Used His Power And Influence To Promote Other Black Artists.
White Was Awarded The NAACP's Spingarn Medal In 1937, For His Investigations Of Lynchings And Race Riots, And For His "Remarkable Tact, Skill and Persuasiveness" In Lobbying To Enact A Federal Anti-Lynching Bill.
During One Investigation In Tulsa, Oklahoma, The Light-Skinned White "Passed" So Successfully As A White Man, He Was Made Deputy Sheriff And Told, "Now You Can Go Out And Shoot Any Nigger You See And The Law'll Be On Your Side."
Walter White Died March 21, 1955.
"In Order For Black History To Live, We Must Continue To Breathe Life Into It." -- Hubert Gaddy, Jr.