The same day a federal trial began over North Carolina’s restrictive and racially discriminatory new voting law, one of the state’s congressmen introduced a bill to honor a historic civil rights leader whose political career was cut short by earlier laws aimed at disenfranchising African Americans.
U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield’s legislation would issue a commemorative U.S. postage stamp for George Henry White, a noted African-American educator, politician and civil rights advocate from North Carolina. White’s service in Congress was abruptly ended at the dawn of the 20th century by the violent imposition of laws that drove blacks from the voting booth and public leadership positions across the South.
“George Henry White was a persistent and thoughtful advocate for his constituents and all African Americans,” said Butterfield, a Democrat from Wilson. “He relentlessly stirred the conscience of both his Congressional colleagues and all Americans to embrace racial justice and equality for all people. His historic public service at the state and federal levels has made him an indelible and unique part of our nation’s history, which is why he should be honored in this way.” (Facing South)