Synopses & Reviews
The Black History of the White House
presents the untold history, racial politics, and shifting significance of the White House as experienced by African Americans, from the generations of enslaved people who helped to build it or were forced to work there to its first black First Family, the Obamas.
Clarence Lusane juxtaposes significant events in White House history with the ongoing struggle for democratic, civil, and human rights by black Americans and demonstrates that only during crises have presidents used their authority to advance racial justice. He describes how in 1901 the building was officially named the “White House” amidst a furious backlash against President Roosevelt for inviting Booker T. Washington to dinner, and how that same year that saw the consolidation of white power with the departure of the last black Congressmember elected after the Civil War. Lusane explores how, from its construction in 1792 to its becoming the home of the first black president, the White House has been a prism through which to view the progress and struggles of black Americans seeking full citizenship and justice.
"Clarence Lusane is one of America's most thoughtful and critical thinkers on issues of race, class and power." Manning Marable
The untold history and politics of the White House from the perspective of African Americans.
About the Author
Dr. Clarence Lusane is a columnist for the Black Voices syndicated news network. He has been published in the Washington Post, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Oakland Tribune, Black Scholar, Race and Class, and many more publications. He often appears on PBS, BET, C-SPAN and other national media. Author of several books and former editor of Black Political Agenda, he teaches at Howard University.
Read an exclusive essay by Clarence Lusane