A 1923 memo from African American activist Walter F. White to W. E. B. Du Bois.
In this memo, civil rights activist and future leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Walter F. White, describes how people of color were denied representation at the national American Red Cross (ARC) headquarters in Washington, DC. Mr. White relates a private conversation with an ARC official who said that letting the ARC know African Americans would no longer donate money to ARC fundraisers would cause the American Red Cross to reconsider its attitude toward African Americans in leadership. The memo also details the racist views of an ARC worker, Miss Phelps, stationed in Tuskegee, Alabama. This memo speaks to the ARC’s policy shift since the early leadership of Clara Barton. Barton, an activist with lifelong connections to civil rights leaders such as Frederick Douglass, ensured that the American Red Cross stepped in to treat African Americans when other relief organizations refused.