Inheritors of the Spirit: Mary White Ovington and the Founding of Thenaacp

Carolyn Wedin, Author John Wiley & Sons $30 (367p) ISBN 978-0-471-16838-6
The early history of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is generally associated with W.E.B. Du Bois, its charismatic leader, while the powerful influence of Mary White Ovington, a white feminist, on him and the organization is obscure. Ovington was the organization's cofounder, chairman of its board and unceasing activist on its behalf for 40 years. The daughter of an abolitionist Unitarian family living in New York City, Ovington became a settlement-house worker whose experiences led her to an increasing concern over the social costs of racial discrimination. The writings of Du Bois convinced her of the need for more aggressive civil rights actions than the gradualist approach of Booker T. Washington, and she became a friend and supporter of Du Bois and exerted a strong influence on him. Partly because her personal life was consumed by activities in favor of civil rights for blacks, this well-researched biography is more successful in presenting its subject's ideas, organizational skills, political maneuvers and the inner workings and accomplishments of the early NAACP than it is in bringing to life its genuine heroine. Photos. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 367 pages - 978-0-470-25473-8
Open Ebook - 376 pages - 978-0-585-24604-8
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