TYPE: Documents (Loose)
COMPONENTS: Over 250 letters; typed and in manuscript; 4to, some on personal stationary.
ITEM ID: 2452

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Letters of Congratulation for Walter White

Year: 1943
Decade: 1940s
Century: 20th (1901-2000)

Collection of over 250 letters, typed and in manuscript, congratulating Walter White on 25 years of service with the NAACP. Walter White (1893-1955) civil rights activist, anti-lynching investigator and author was the fourth of seven children born in Atlanta to George W. White and Madeline Harrison. When White was born, his father had just graduated from Atlanta University and was a postal worker. Madeline had graduated from Clark University and became a teacher. They belonged to the influential First Congregational Church, founded after the Civil War by freedmen and the American Missionary Association, based in the North. Among the new middle class of blacks, both of the Whites ensured that Walter and each of their children got an education. The light-skinned White easily “passed” and used his appearance to increase his effectiveness in conducting investigations of lynching and race riots in the American South. He could talk to whites, but also managed to identify himself as black and talk to the African-American community. Such work was dangerous, but he managed to investigate 41 lynchings and eight race riots and worked tirelessly to bring these issues before Congress. The letters are arranged alphabetically and include: Claude Barnett, founder of the Associated Negro Press, Marshall Best, noted editor at Viking Press, Sterling Brown, Henrietta Buckmeister, Horace Cayton, Allan Knight Chalmers (head of the Scottsboro Defense Committee), Oscar Chapman (Dept. of the Interior), Marc Connoly, (Green Pastures) Marian Cuthbert, Mrs. Clarence Darrow, Elmer Davis, Ira A. De Reid, Hubert T. Delany (civil rights advocate), Dean Dixon (African American conductor), artist Aaron Douglas, R. B. Eleazer, Edward Embrie, Morris Ernst (co-founder of the ACLU), Clifton Fadiman, George Field (Freedom House), E. Franklin Frazier, Lewis Gannett, Shirley Graham (Du Bois), Lester B. Granger, Bishop J. A. Gregg (A M.E. Church), Inez Haynes Gilmore Irwin (Suffragette), Stanley Isaacs, Harold Jackman, Mrs. James Weldon Johnson, Daisy Lampkin (African American suffragette), Lawrence Langner (founder Theatre Guild), Rayford Logan, Z. Alexander Looby, Enolia P. McMillan (First woman president of the NAACP), Herbert Marshall, Benjamin E.Mays, Pearl Mitchell, Henry Lee Moon, Carl Murphy, Mary White Ovington, William Pickens, Langdon Post, A Phillip Randolph, Richetta G. Randolph, F. B. Ransom (Bus. manager C. J. Walker Co.), Leon Ransom, Lawrence D. Reddick, Dr. Carl Glennis Roberts, Joel Augustus Rogers, Will Rogers Jr., Herbert J. Seligman, David O. Selznick, Cecilia Cabaniss Saunders, Emmet J. Scott, George S.Schuyler, A Maceo Smith, Amy Spingarn, Mabel Staupers, Sue and Howard Thurman, Channing H Tobias, Oswald Garrison Villard, Laura Wheeler Waring, Robert C Weaver, Roy Wilkins, Pearl and Joe Williams, Horace White, Max Yergan, and Darryl F. Zanuck, among many others