National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People

666 words - 3 pages

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

     Born from the Niagara Movement, led by William E. B. DuBois, the NAACP
has had a volatile birth and a lively history (Beifuss 17:E4). The impetus for
the creation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
came in the summer of 1908. Severe race riots in Springfield, Illinois,
prompted William English Walling to write articles questioning the treatment of
the Negro. Reading the articles, Mary White Ovington and Dr. Henry Moskowitz
were compelled to meet with Walling. Consequently, the three along with a group
of black and white citizens had considered the present state of the Negro,
disfranchised in the South and taxed while going unrepresented in the
government, a national conference needed to be held to answer the "Negro
Question" (Jenkins). It was then that the idea of NAACP was created.
     February 12, 1909, Lincoln's birthday, a conference to review the
progress that the nation made since Emancipation Proclamation and to celebrate
Lincoln's birthday took place; Thereupon, a statement, now known as "The Call",
was released. This statement reiterated the treatment of the black race since
1865. Many notable figures in history signed "The Call" , e.g., Ida Wells
Barnett, Jane Adams, W.E.B. DuBois and John Dewey. In a matter of two months,
another conference was held. As a result of that conference, the NAACP was born.
A distinct factor of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People, which set it apart from its congruent movement, the Niagara Movement,
was involvement of both races. The early success was due in large part to the
interracial membership (Franklin 91). A large part of the membership consisted
of white socialist and liberals (Franklin). For some time the NAACP was white-
led. In time the Association became black dominated; Specifically, under the
guidance of James Weldon Johnson. During the rule of Johnson, the NAACP began to
form its reputation for using litigation. Although many of the NAACP's landmark
cases did not occur until the 1950's and 1960's, the foundation was laid in the
1920's and 1930's. In short the National Association...

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