23 Sep 2013

The Butler: A witness to history

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 3:09 pm on 23 September 2013

Eugene Allen was a butler for 34 years in the White House, for every president from Truman to Reagan. His story had never been told until 2008 when Washington Post reporter Wil Haygood went in search of a feature story about segregation and the White House when it looked like the first Black man could actually win the presidency. He found Eugene Allen. As a butler, Allen had a front row seat to history unfolding: the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the assassination of President John F Kennedy. But he would be forced to take a seat in the back of the bus outside the White House. Haygood tells Eugene Allen's story in his book, 'The Butler: A Witness to History'.