The George Henry White “Rise Once Again” website (< www.georgehenrywhite.com >) is sponsored by the Benjamin and Edith Spaulding Descendants Foundation (BESDF), Inc., a nonprofit group established for educational, literary, and charitable purposes, among other functions. One of our foundation’s projects includes the promotion of greater historical recognition of the life and legacy of George Henry White, a North Carolina congressman who was a major civil rights leader during his lifetime (1852‒1918).
Though largely forgotten today, George Henry White was a household name in North Carolina and most of the nation at the turn of the 20th century. During his lifetime he was the nation’s highest elected African American official, and considered the equal of well-known African American contemporaries such as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. During two terms in Congress from 1897 to 1901, he fought for equal rights for all Americans and sponsored groundbreaking legislation that would have outlawed lynching. Alarmed by disfranchisement of African American voters in North Carolina after 1900, he moved his family to Washington, D.C., and later to Philadelphia, Pa., where he continued his fight for equal rights as an attorney, banker, and land developer starting the town of Whitesboro, NJ. A place where a person could live and have an even chance in the race of life.
Our foundation, in collaboration with the the Phoenix Historical Society, Inc. of Tarboro, NC, is concerned that his courageous stands for racial justice in the face of public apathy should not continue to be overlooked in the mainstream of national black history. We are also concerned about the discontinuation of African American history courses in many school systems, a move which has contributed to the omission of George Henry White, and other black heroes, from the mainstream of national black history publications, events, and museums.
The purpose of the GHW “Rise Once Again” website is to provide a location on the Internet where information regarding programs and activities promoting public knowledge of GHW and other unsung black heroes during his era can be posted. In addition to its historical information, the website contains places where present-day news and events can be posted, locations for placing information on special occasions, places for media information and photos, locations for posting and past and present activities, a store where memorabilia and DVD’s can be purchased, links to other websites that contain relevant information, and a location for submitting contact information. The website also contains a Facebook connection for posting information and facilitating discussion groups.
Persons who are interested in submitting information for posting on the GHW “Rise Once Again” website should use the contact information form to submit requests for information to be posted.
Vincent M. Spaulding, R.A.
From the backwoods of North Carolina, White graduated Howard University, becoming an educator and then a lawyer. Elected to the NC legislature and then Senate during the Reconstruction era, he served as State Solicitor until his election to the US. Congress from the Second District in 1896. From 1897 to 1901, his was the sole voice in Congress for some 10 million African Americans, authoring a bill to outlaw lynching, and standing strong against the erosion of rights for all. When the vote was denied to North Carolina's black citizens, White left politics, deciding to build economic power for people of color in Philadelphia, PA. He ran his own law firm, founded the People's Savings Bank, and a land company, helping black citizens become owners of land, homes and businesses. In the dark decades that followed, his story was all but lost, but is finally being told again today.
The BESD Foundation, Inc. BOD's, voted unanimously, without opposition, to give the 2014 GHW award to Dr. Benjamin Justesen for his visionary action, and diligent and ongoing efforts to promote public knowledge of the life and enduring legacy of GHW.
During the 25th Annual Whitesboro Reunion Festival, August 30-September 1, 2013 a Historic Marker honoring Congressman George Henry White, a founding member of Whitesboro, NJ will be unveiled at the west corner of Shore Road/Route 9 North and Main Street in Whitesboro, NJ. A screening of George Henry White American Phoenix will follow.
For a donation of $20. you will receive a DVD copy of George Henry White:
American Phoenix. All proceeds towards the George Henry White Fund, supporting future screenings of the documentary and efforts to raise awareness of the life and legacy of George Henry White.
This memorial is a place intended to serve as a focus for the memory of the life and legacy of the late Congressman George Henry White (1852-1918), in his birth place; and to provide a location in Bladen County for the commemoration, remembrance, and recognition of the rich history of the Farmer’s union community and its surrounding neighbors.
Progress continues on the renovation and restoration of the George Henry White Community Memorial Center, which is intended to highlight the legacy and life of the late Congressman George Henry White and will serve as a community center for residents in his birth county.
Photos: August 2015 Update
Photos: October 2015 Update
Photos: August 2016 Update
George Henry White Award 2014
Historic Marker Honoring GHW
Purchase the GHW DVD today!
GHW Community Memorial Center
GHW Memorial Center Reno Update
GHW Headstone Dedication
News and Events
All donations towards the George Henry White (GHW) Fund will help support efforts to raise awareness of his life and legacy. Current initiatives include: future screenings and expansion of the GHW American Phoenix DVD, installation of a headstone at GHW’s grave site at the Historic Eden Cemetery in Collingdale, PA, the establishment of the GHW Community Memorial Center in Bladen County, NC, his birth county, and supporting various educational activities to raise awareness of GHW, and other African-American heroes omitted from the mainstream of American history publications, events and museums.
All contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law under section 501 (c) (3) of the IRS Code. For your reference, our tax ID is 56-2068902.
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Donations by checks to the GHW fund should be made payable to BESDF, Inc. and mailed to :
7 Jenee Lane
Durham, NC 27703-2563