Walter F. White:  “U.S. Department of (White) Justice”


During the 1920s and 1930s, Walter White published dozens of essays to rally public opposition to lynching, including the 1935 article “U.S. Department of (White) Justice.” As the executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), White called on the federal government to enact laws to prevent mob violence and punish its perpetrators. Published in The Crisis, the NAACP’s monthly journal, this particular essay focused on the reluctance of federal law enforcement officials to intervene in southern lynching cases.

The antilynching movement was one of the first civil rights causes to emerge on the national political scene. Walter White and the NAACP spearheaded a diverse alliance of churchwomen, labor unions, progressive activists, and southern liberals united in their opposition to lynching. Their crusade forced a showdown with southern politicians, who resisted any effort by the federal government to intervene in their affairs. While...

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Walter White (Library of Congress)

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