The White Man Who Stayed: A Biography Remembered
Back in the decades following WW2, Doug Autry’s championing of the African American community where he lived in Benton, Mississippi, was rare. He recognized improvement could come only with better education opportunities. His dedication was not a reflection of his family’s attitude. Indeed, racial discrimination was not a topic of family conversation and a favorite uncle was a member of the Klan.
James Autry, his cousin, a retired Fortune 500 executive and author of several books, has chronicled the portrait of the man whose tenacity spelled a legacy of achievement.
Douglas Autry was raised long before the 1954 law mandated the racial integration of schools and he became involved in pursuing his mission. Ten years later he was appointed County Director of the Neighborhood Youth Corps, a wing of the Community Action Program,
But something went wrong. He was accused of embezzling $630 from the Corps funds and served eighteen months of a seven-year sentence before receiving a full pardon then struggling to restore acceptance and respect in his community. Eventually, he became Superintendent of the Benton County Schools, a position he held for many years.
The book is short, the writing spare, appropriate for the tale Autry tells. The White Man Who Stayed is both enlightening and humbling, a reminder of a past that regrettably is still with us.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Author||James A. Autry|
|Page Count||180 pages|
|Publisher||Ice Cube Press|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|