Black and White Sat Down Together by Mary White Ovington
The Reminiscences of an NAACP Founder

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In 1903, when white settlement worker Mary White Ovington was 38, she had no sense that there was a "racial problem" in the United States. Six years later, she, W.E.B. DuBois, and 50 others founded the NAACP. Their goals included ending racial discrimination and segregation, and achieving full civil and legal rights for African-Americans-a dream that is still alive today, along with the organization they founded.

Ovington's candid memoir reveals a corageous woman who defied the social restrictions placed on women of her generation, race, and class, nd became part of an inner circle that made the decisions for the NAACP in its first forty years. Her actions often brought unwelcome notoriety-as wehn lurid newspaper headlines announced her attendance at a biracial dinner in 1908-yet she continued working side-by-side with such colleagues as DuBois, James Wheldon Johnson, amd Walter White, and began travelling across the country to help establish NAACP chapters in the deep south, the Midwest, and California.

Serialized in the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper in 1932 and 1933, Ovington's memoirs are here available for the first time in book form. Black and White Sat Down Together offers an insider's view of a seminal phase in the struggle for civil rights, and a moving encounter with a woman who was hailed in her time as a "fighting saint."


About Mary White Ovington

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Luker is adjunct professor of history at Morehouse College in Atlanta
Published September 1, 1996 by The Feminist Press at CUNY. 184 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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Ovington worked to mobilize northerners to improve the lot of blacks in a time when most white northerners ``easily excused'' lynchings as a legitimate response to charges of rape.

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Publishers Weekly

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Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to abolitionist parents, Ovington (1865-1951), a white socialist, reporter and pioneering settlement-house worker, in 1909 became a principal cofounder, with black civil rights leader W.E.B.

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