Civil Rights Pioneers
Charles Hamilton Houston and Walter White
Issue Date: February 21, 2009
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 10 ¾
Known as “The Man Who Killed Jim Crow,” Charles Hamilton Houston was involved in almost every Supreme Court civil rights case between 1930 and 1954.
Houston (1895-1950) dedicated his life to representing the oppressed. Houston followed the case of Micajah Walker, who escaped a brutal lynching by killing his white attacker. Following Walker’s conviction, Houston decided the training of black lawyers was key to attacking institutional racism.
One of his most influential cases was that of Lloyd Gaines. The Supreme Court determined the University of Missouri’s segregation policy was unconstitutional.
Walter White (1893-1955) served as executive director of the NAACP for twenty-five years. White organized and led crusades for federal laws against lynching, desegregation of the Armed Forces, and the Fair Employment Practices Act. Under his leadership, the NAACP established the Legal Defense Fund that was victorious in the milestone school segregation case, Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision.
As a young black leader in the organization, White used his fair skin, blond hair, and blue eyes covertly to investigate 41 lynchings and race riots in the U.S. More than once, White narrowly escaped death after vigilantes discovered his true identity.