Remembering Walter Francis White: The Man Who Pretended To Be White In Order To Infiltrate The KKK And Expose Lynching


The Afrikan Voice

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Walter Francis White was a leading civil rights advocate of the first half of the twentieth century.  As executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1931 to 1955, he was one of the major architects of the modern African American freedom struggle.White, whose blond hair and blue eyes belied his African American ancestry, was born in Atlanta, Georgia on July 1, 1893, the fourth of seven children.  His parents, George W. White, a graduate of Atlanta University and a postal worker, and Madeline Harrison White, a Clark University graduate and school teacher, were solidly middle class at the time when the vast majority of Atlanta blacks were working class.Walter White graduated from Atlanta University in 1916 and one year later helped establish the Atlanta branch of the NAACP after briefly working as an insurance agent. In 1918, at the invitation of James Weldon Johnson…

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