A Man Called White: The Autobiography of Walter White

A Man Called White: The Autobiography of Walter White

University of Georgia Press
1994 (First published in 1948)
392 pages
5.5 x 8.5
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8203-1698-7

Walter White (1893-1955)

Foreword by Andrew Young

The life story of a man who crossed the color line to fight for civil rights

First published in 1948, A Man Called White is the autobiography of the famous civil rights activist Walter White during his first thirty years of service to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. White joined the NAACP in 1918 and served as its executive secretary from 1931 until his death in 1955. His recollections tell not only of his personal life, but amount to an insider’s history of the association’s first decades.

Although an African American, White was fair-skinned, blond-haired, and blue-eyed. His ability to pass as a white man allowed him—at great personal risk—to gather important information regarding lynchings, disfranchisement, and discrimination. Much of A Man Called White recounts his infiltration of the country’s white-racist power structure and the numerous legal battles fought by the NAACP that were aided by his daring efforts.

Penetrating and detailed, this autobiography provides an important account of crucial events in the development of race relations before 1950—from the trial of the “Scottsboro Boys” to an investigation of the treatment of African American servicemen in World War II, from the struggle against the all-white primaries in the South to court decisions–at all levels—on equal education.

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