Left: Walter White - Fire in the Flint - Alfred A. Knopf, 1924 from Trench Books, Maine.
Right: Allen Lewis - Original ink design on cardboard - Wheaton College S-366

a few items on

Walter White

The Fire in the Flint

Includes a letter to Jacob Billikopf
and his classic Work of a Mob.

Tolson adapted the novel into a play and performed it with Dust Bowl Players
at the NAACP 43rd Annual Convention
Oklahoma in June, 1952.

We include below a few items from the internet that illustrate a bit about White and his novel. A Georgia newspaper clipping illustrates the entrenched racism White depicts by quoting those who denounce his book. A letter from White to Jacob Billikopf where White states "As a matter of fact, instead of being overdrawn, I purposely toned down the picture as I have seen it." And we include his The Work of a Mob from The Crisis where it appeared in September 1918, an account of some of the lynchings and atrocities White documented for the NAACP.


Comments on White's
book range from :

"It is an unanswerable indictment in that every Southern man knows that every incident in it could be duplicated in his own community."
-- Josephus Daniels,
   North Carolina
   News and Observer

"To those who are working toward a solution of the race problem with open minds, it must appear as but another proof of the belief that to give the negro an education along other than industrial lines is frequently worse than useless."
-- Judge Blanton Fortson,
   Georgia Superior Court

from NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom,

The New Negro Movement

From the website:

About this item: In 1924 Walter White published his first novel, Fire in the Flint, the story of an idealistic black physician who is lynched in Georgia. NAACP counsel Louis Marshall asked his son-in-law, philanthropist Jacob Billikop, to help promote the book. In this letter, White thanks Billikop for his assistance and defends the novel’s credibility by recounting eleven lynchings he investigated in Brooks and Lowndes counties, Georgia, in May 1918. Fire in the Flint received mostly favorable reviews and became an international bestseller.

Walter White to Jacob Billikop, Director of the Federation of Jewish Charities, concerning his novel Fire in the Flint, September 26, 1924. Typed letter. NAACP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (053.02.00) Courtesy of the NAACP [Digital ID # na0053_02]

From The Crisis
Sep 1918 Vol. 16, No. 5

Walter White

The Work of a Mob

Includes his account of the horrific lynching
of Mary Turner and her unborn child.


Walter F. White
Time Magazine Cover
Jan. 24, 1938

From Jet Magazine, April 7, 1955.