Blonde hair and Blue Eyes Walter White, African-American Man. The Most Successful Leader of the NAACP

7 Jun

 

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Walter White called affectionately by his people, Mr NAACP

 In 2014 I read on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)’s web site a quote by Carter G. Woodson about those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished will lose the inspiration that comes from that knowledge.

The NAACP is more guilty of this than any other organization.

The majority of African Americans today, don’t know anything about Walter White.

I recently read a biography and an autobiography and a few books written about, and by Walter White.

I was surprised by the things he accomplished as the leader of the NAACP. 

He was a blonde haired, blue eyes, and a very proud man of African descent.

He was the leader of the NAACP for over 20 years.

He was born in Georgia to very light complexion African American parents.

WALTER WHITE'S FAMILY

During the 1930s, his father died, when he was taken to a ‘whites’ only hospital after a traffic accident.

When the hospital staff discovered he was of African descent; they had him transported to the ‘negro’ hospital without treating him.

Because of the delay in treatment he died soon after.

Walter White played a significant role in every achievement made for African Americans during the 1930s, 1940s, and early 1950s; up until his death in 1955.

He personally lobbied members of the Congress and Senate for many years without success to pass an Anti-Lynching Bill.

He risked his life on numerous occasions to find out first hand, about many lynchings in America.

Because of his Caucasian appearance he gathered information from many people who were either witnesses or participants of these lynchings.

During one visit to a town where a lynching had taken place; he was told by a Caucasian man that they had found out that a negro posing as a ‘white’ was going to be identified and killed.

The man didn’t realise that he was talking to the man who was supposed to be killed later that day.

Walter White quickly left town before they discovered his true identity.

WALTER WHITE AND HOLLYWOOD

He spoke to the heads of the major Hollywood studios about the negative images being portrayed in films about African Americans.

They pledged that they would make changes in the way that African Americans were portrayed.

Later actors like Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte were the results of this pledge, the studio chiefs had made to Walter White. 

WALTER WHITE ARMY RESEARCHER

During WWII there were many racial incident at many of the locations where African American military men were stationed.

Not just racial animosity from the local civilian Caucasians; but also from fellow military members of the Caucasian race.

He made a fact finding trip during WWII to the countries in Europe and Asia where African American military men and women were deployed.

He was tasked with finding a solution to the racial friction between the races.

He then inform General Eisenhower and other top military brass of his findings and his thoughts of a possibly solution.

He contributed to the creation of, the Tuskegee Airmen, the ending of discrimination in the military, the inclusion of African Americans in the major Unions, the organization of Marian Anderson concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, after the racist members of the Daughters of the American Revolution had objected to her performance at their building, and many other things that cannot be written here.

walter-white-in-wwii

He was close personal friend of Eleanor Roosevelt and thus had the ear of her husband President Roosevelt.

He was affectionately called Mr. NAACP by many African Americans.

One prominent and wealthy racist Caucasian woman once told him that he was a fool for identifying himself as an African American when he could easily pass for a Caucasian.

He said her remark was so idiotic that he didn’t even bother to give her a reply.

Walter White risked his life many times by going to cities and town; where there had been lynchings of  African Americans.

He got first hand information from ordinary Caucasians; some of whom may have participated in the lynchings.

They spoke openly to him because they thought he was one of them.

For the past 60 years; for whatever reasons, the NAACP has chosen to ignore him and the major contributions he made towards the upliftment of our people.

For the past 60 years the NAACP have treated him as an insignificant person in the history of the NAACP and African Americans.

The majority of African American today don’t know anything about him.

We all know and love W.E.B. Du Boise but we know nothing about Walter White.

In fact many of us erroneously believe that Du Boise was the leader of the NAACP during that era, when in fact he was just the editor of the NAACP newsletter, The Crisis. 

Did Walter White become the forgotten man of African American history, because of his Caucasian appearance?

Even during his lifetime many people didn’t believe that he was really of African descent.

Maybe the NAACP became ashamed of him during the “black and beautiful’ era of the late 1960s.

I believe that because of the ingratitude shown by the NAACP towards Walter White and not recognizing and preserving his memory, the NAACP will soon vanish as a credible organization in the eyes of African Americans.

The NAACP should have invested funds into bringing to the screen all those wonderful leaders (Ida B. Wells, James Weldon Johnson, W.E.B.. Dubois, Walter White) of the NAACP who risked their lives for many, many years; to help promote the rights of our people.

If the NAACP does not even have the courage and insight to promote their past leaders; then, how do they expect us to take them for anything other than clowns who like to dress up and go to their annual fancy, Image Awards ball.

IN ADDITION THE NAACP NEED A NAME CHANGE.

I SUGGEST THAT INSTEAD OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE (NAACP);

THE NAME SHOULD BE CHANGED TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF POOR PEOPLE (NAAPP).

HELPING ALL POOR PEOPLE OF WHATEVER RACE; WAS THE DIRECTION DR MARTIN LUTHER KING WAS GOING; WHEN HE WAS MURDERED IN 1968.

I SENT THAT SUGGESTION TO THE NAACP IN 2009; BUT THEY IGNORED IT 🙂

See the excerpt of an article from Time Magazine about Walter White, below this picture of the NAACP members at their fancy dress ball

clowns

(The following as taken from Time.com)

In the dated language of the day, his obituary in the New York Times referred to him as “a Negro by choice,” explaining:

Only five-thirty-seconds of his ancestry was Negro. His skin was fair, his hair blond, his eyes blue and his features Caucasian.

He could easily have joined the 12,000 Negroes who pass the color-line and disappear into the white majority every year in this country.

But if Walter White was a “Negro by choice,” it wasn’t a choice made arbitrarily—and his first-hand knowledge of the facts of life for African Americans was personal, deep and real.

Both of his parents had been born into slavery, and although they went on to earn college degrees and pursue middle-class careers as a postal worker (his father) and teacher (his mother), they endured ruthless discrimination throughout their lives.

As TIME elaborated in 1938:

[White] remembers that his father’s house was almost burned down during an Atlanta race riot in his childhood.

He recalls too that his father died in agony when the surgeons of the white ward of an Atlanta hospital, to which he had been mistakenly taken for an emergency operation, balked upon learning his race and insisted on shipping him in the rain to the Negro ward across the street.

While he was a highly esteemed activist and a powerful champion of anti-lynching legislation, he was occasionally rebuffed in the black community by those who mistook him for a white outsider.

In his autobiography, A Man Called White, he recalls the day he accidentally stepped on the toes of another black man on a subway platform.

The man lashed out bitterly, saying, “Why don’t you look where you’re going? You white folks are always trampling on colored people.”

White knew as well as anyone that his life would have been vastly simpler if he had capitalized on his skin color and, as the Times put it, “disappear[ed] into the white majority.”

But he refused to turn his back on his heritage — or on those who couldn’t so easily disappear from the injustices of the Jim Crow era.

As he put it in his book:

“I am not white. There is nothing within my mind and heart which tempts me to think I am. Yet I realize acutely that the only characteristic which matters to either the white or the colored race—the appearance of whiteness—is mine. There is magic in a white skin; there is tragedy, loneliness, exile, in a black skin.”

Through his activism White helped ease some of that tragedy, loneliness, and exile.

After he died, TIME called him a “dogged lobbyist” who had “a major hand in virtually every civil-rights law enacted” during his NAACP leadership.

Indeed, TIME concludes that 1955 obituary with the observation, “As Walter White died, his old enemy Jim Crow was dying too.”

Read a 1938 profile of Walter White, here in the TIME archives: Black’s White

ca. 1947 --- Eleanor Roosevelt and Dr. James McClendon, board members of the NAACP, go over the 1947 program with NAACP executive officers Walter White and Roy Wilkins as Thurgood Marshall looks on. --- Image by © CORBIS

ca. 1947 — Eleanor Roosevelt and Dr. James McClendon, board members of the NAACP, go over the 1947 program with NAACP executive officers Walter White and Roy Wilkins as Thurgood Marshall looks on. — Image by © CORBIS

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 READ ALSO:

WE ARE COMMITTING A MAJOR ERROR, IN CALLING CAUCASIANS ‘WHITE.’
 
SEEING THEMSELVES AS THE “WHITE RACE,” IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY MANY CAUCASIANS CONTINUE TO BELIEVE, THAT THEY ARE A SUPERIOR RACE.
 
Click below to ‘read’ the article.
 
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