Channing Heggie Tobias

Channing H. Tobias (Photo credit: The Crisis, volume 16, number 1, May 1918, page 14; photo in the public domain)

In 1946, when Dr. Channing Heggie Tobias (1882–1961) became a member of President Harry S. Truman’s new Committee on Civil Rights, he had just retired from the YMCA, where, for twenty-three years, he had served as Senior Secretary in the Department of Interracial Services within the Colored Work Department. Also after retirement he became the first black director of the Phelps Stokes Fund, which awarded funds to institutions that provided educational opportunities to African-American children, and became active in the NAACP, receiving the Spingarn Medal in 1948 for his work on behalf of African Americans. Born in Augusta, Georgia, he earned a bachelor's degree from Paine College, studied at Drew Theological Seminary, and earned a doctorate of divinity from Gammon Theological Seminary. Channing Tobias died in Manhattan in 1961.

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