How NAACP’s Walter White Risked His Life to Investigate Lynchings

For Walter White, growing up as black and being able to “pass” as white allowed him to take on two identities that helped him in his work with the NAACP to speak out against racial injustice in the United States.

White was born with blond hair and blue eyes in 1893 in Atlanta, Georgia to a family descended from enslaved blacks and white plantation owners. He grew up in a time when the “one drop” rule was enforced – a law that categorized anyone with a drop of black blood in the family line as a black person, even if they had a much higher percentage of black blood. European ancestry. Despite his European lineage, the future civil rights activist grew up as an African-American man. His mother and father, both born into slavery, became middle class, earning college degrees and working as a teacher and postman respectively.

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