Axelbank Reports History and Today

#88: A.J. Baime - "White Lies"

June 14, 2022 Evan Axelbank
Axelbank Reports History and Today
#88: A.J. Baime - "White Lies"
Show Notes

What does it mean to be white in America? What does it mean to be Black? Is it merely the color of our skin? How does the history of how different races have been treated by the law and by fellow Americans weigh on those labels? What would it be like to straddle both worlds?

In "White Lies: The Double Life of Walter F. White and America's Darkest Secret," AJ Baime explains how an African-American man who looked white infiltrated the south to investigate lynchings and write reports for the NAACP. Baime explains how Walter White exposed the horrors of lynchings in a way no one else could, while also defining a new era of culture in New York City. Baime came of age as Jim Crow took hold, and sadly died before the Civil Rights movement would achieve its greatest legislative successes.

Baime also describes the emotional journey he traveled to write this book, and why he says it is time for him to take a break from non-fiction!

This is AJ's second appearance on our show. He joined us in the Fall of 2020 to discuss his book, "Dewey Defeats Truman." That episode can be found here:

AJ Baime's can be reached on social media at

Information on his book can be found at

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