February 4, 2003 New Biography of NAACP Leader To Be Featured at Library of Congress Presentation on Feb. 25

Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady (202) 707-6456, scannady@loc.gov
Public Contact: The Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

Kenneth Janken, associate professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will discuss his new book, "White: The Biography of Walter White, Mr. NAACP" (New Press, 2003), at the Library of Congress at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 25, in the Mumford Room, sixth floor, James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E., in Washington, D.C.

The program is part of the Center for the Book's "Books & Beyond" series of talks about new books based on the Library's collections and programs. It is co-sponsored with the Library's Manuscript Division and presented in cooperation with New Press. The event is open to the public and no tickets are required. A book signing will follow the talk, which also is part of the Library's commemoration of Black History Month.

This is the first biography about Walter White, who served as executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1931 to 1955, and is credited with bringing the NAACP to national prominence. Historian David Levering Lewis has called White "the civil rights virtuoso of the mid-20th century, whose literary salesmanship helped launch the Harlem Renaissance and whose organizational leadership made possible Brown v. Board of Education."

The NAACP archives in the Library's Manuscript Division were a major resource for the book, as were the Rayford W. Logan papers, the Arthur B. Springarn papers, and the Joel E. Springarn papers.

Kenneth Robert Janken is associate professor of Afro-American Studies and adjunct professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of "Rayford W. Logan and the Dilemma of the African American Intellectual" (University of Massachusetts Press, 1993).

The Center for the Book was established in 1977 to use the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. For information about its program, publications, and forthcoming events and the activities of its affiliates in 50 states and the District of Columbia, consult its Web site at www.loc.gov/cfbook.


PR 03-019
ISSN 0731-3527