In 1971, Elton Fax's book 17 Black Artists was published by Dodd Mead. Charles White was one of the 17, the others being, Elizabeth Catlett, John Wilson, Lawrence Jones, Eldzier Cortor, Rex Goreleigh, Charlotte Amévor, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Roy De Carava, Faith Ringgold, Earl Hooks, James E. Lewis, Benny Andrews, Norma Morgan, John Biggers, and William Torres.
Each artist was represented by a short essay by Fax, written in his own inimitable style. For example, in referencing White's "J'accuse! No. 10" and its use on the cover of Ebony magazine, of August 1966, Fax opined, "The Charles White heads of eleven black women of varying ages and personalities made no effort to proclaim material success or to exploit the legendary sexuality of the black female." (78).
Elsewhere in the text,
"…Meanwhile he had come to know the group of young black artists in Chicago. They included Charles Sebree, Eldzier Cortor, Charles David, Bernard and Margaret Goss, and Archibald J. Motley. A particularly strong influence upon White’s drawing and painting at this period was painter Mitchell Siporin, whose distinctively sculptural handling of planes he adopted without apology. In addition to the Depression painters he began to hobnob with the writers Willard Motley, Richard Wright, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Two others with whom he came in close contact were dancer Katherine Dunham and a young photographer from Kansas named Gordon Parks.
…In a pictorial arrangement singularly powerful for a twenty-five-year-old-painter [“Contribution of the American Negro to Democracy”], White commented upon the contributions of such historic (and revolutionary) black figures as Crispus Attucks and Peter Salken of the American Revolution and slave insurrectionists Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey. In addition Charles included the modern-day black leaders Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Paul Robeson, and Max Yeargan. Again he had replied to those who were seeking to ignore, by their silence, the facts of American history. Critical praise of the work was quickly forthcoming and Charles White’s work began to gain national recognition.
…[New York] was alive with artists, writers, and performers who were devoting much of their time to combatting social and political injustice. Among them was the scholar Dr. W. E. B. DuBois. Others in the arts included Rockwell Kent, Jacob Lawrence, Ernest Crichlow, Walter Christmas, Langston Hughes, Shirley Graham, Ruth Jett, Lorraine Hansberry, Kenneth Spencer, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Paul Robeson, Harry Belafonte, and Sidney Poitier. Charles White came to know them all. Moreover his work would be influenced by their oppression to what they collectively believed was not good for humanity at large, and black peoples in particular. Here, in part, is what had been taking place, for instance, in Paris." (67/70/71)