The NAACP's principal objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of United States and eliminate race prejudice. The NAACP seeks to remove all barriers of racial discrimination through the democratic processes.
A Brief History of the NAACP
For more than 100 years our nation's premier civil rights organization has fought for human rights, voting rights, economic rights. The NAACP's stated goal was to work to secure the rights guaranteed in the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the United States Constitution.
Founded on February 12, 1909, the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, formed in New York City. When a following meeting of prominent Americans took place in May of that year, the first officers of the organization were selected.
W.E.B. DuBois (William Edward Burghardt DuBois) founded The Crisis, a magazine, which became the official publication of the NAACP, in 1910. One of the The Crisis aims according to DuBois, was to show the danger of racial prejudice. Dubois, one of the co-founders of the NAACP, graduated from Harvard University, became a history professor at Atlanta University and published a collection of essays entitled, The Souls of Black Folks. By 1917, the organization had 9,000 members and more than 300 branches.
The NAACP began to lead the 'struggle' through the legal system. Several noteworthy court cases were championed by the NAACP. The landmark United States Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education, in 1954, outlawed segregation in public schools. Thurgood Marshall, chief counsel for the NAACP, argued several cases before the Supreme Court during his career, eventually being appointed to the court in 1967. Justice Marshall was nominated by President Johnson, becoming the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. The NAACP is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, which happens to be the birth place of Justice Marshall.
During the 1960's the NAACP, was at the forefront during the passage of key legislation. The civil rights movement was crucial in developing the conscious of the country. Noted legislative accomplishments were the Civil rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
Shaping the hearts and minds of people, at home and abroad, has been the legacy of the NAACP. Through demonstrations, marches, legislative accomplishments, electoral initiatives and other non-violent means, this 'grassroots' organization has worked to have American live up to its creed.
The History of the NAACP in North Carolina
In 1917 the first three North Carolina branches of the NAACP were created. Following the creation of the organization several years earlier. Their mission was to confront lynching, and fair employment; also to promote voter registration, and equal education opportunities. According to NCPedia, over the next 25 years, the number of branches increased, and in 1943 a State Conference of NAACP Branches was formed to serve the state's membership of 5,700. The leadership of the state conference was assumed by Kelly M. Alexander. During Alexander's 36-year presidency, ending with his death in 1985, the North Carolina State Conference of NAACP Branches became the largest in the nation; it eventually included more than 120 branches with a membership of 30,000. In 1955, after the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, Alexander led the NAACP fight to desegregate North Carolina schools. Alexander was elected to the NAACP Board of Directors in 1950. He became chairman in 1984.
Robert F. Williams, formerly the president of the NAACP branch of Monroe, North Carolina, advocated self-defense. A national debate among civil rights groups over violent versus nonviolent tactics intensified; his 1962 book Negroes with Guns, allegedly, had a profound influence on Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton.
The 1960 Greensboro sit-ins, presented another challenge to the national NAACP's courts-oriented approach to activism. Its methods appeared mild to some civil rights activists. The state and local NAACP leaders have amassed an impressive list of civil rights victories on behalf of North Carolina's African Americans and other minorities. As of 2006, there were 101 NAACP branches in the state.
On Saturday, February 14th, 2009, the NC NAACP marked its 100th anniversary by bringing historic thousands of North Carolinians of all colors and races to its third annual People's Assembly on Jones Street.
Meet the 2021-2023 Winston-Salem NAACP Officers...
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Al Wadood Jabbar
Tonya D. McDaniel