In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invited African-American educator Booker T. Washington, who had become close to the president, to dine with his family at the White House. Several other presidents had invited African Americans to meetings at the White House, but never to a meal.
News of the dinner became a national sensation — the subject of inflammatory articles and cartoons — and shifted the national conversation around race at the time.
NPR's Neal Conan talks with Deborah Davis, author of Guest of Honor: Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and the White House Dinner That Shocked a Nation about the dinner that she believes changed history.
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