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Guest of Honor

New book recounts consequences of historic White House dinner

Booker T. Washington dines with President Roosevelt.

Guess who came to dinner! President Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington dine at the White House in 1901. — David J. & Janice L. Frent Collection/Corbis

When President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to dine with the first family in 1901, many Americans — including notable black scholar W.E.B. Dubois — criticized the president for the invitation. In her new book, Guest of Honor, historian Deborah Davis examines the widespread ramifications of the historic meal and explores the gains in social equality over the last century.

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