Tuesday, May 4, 2010

History of NAACP

NAACP mourns loss of Dorthy Heights and Benjamin Lawson Hooks

The NAACP stands for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The NAACP was formed in 1909 in New York by a group of black and white citizens fighting for social justice. A “Call” was issued on February 12, 1909, by a collection of sixty signatures for a meeting on the concept of creating an organization that would serve as a protector against racial injustice(“Time Line”). The call was a response to a vicious race riot that took place in Springfield, Illinois in 1908. The riot left two black men lynched and several others beaten. One of the sixty signatures included W.E.B. Dubois, who was a black activist and the director of publication and research for the NAACP (“History of NAACP”). Another significant member was Moorefield Storey who was a constitutional lawyer and former president of the American Bar Association before being appointed NAACP president. The organization invited not just minorities, but any person that had a genuine interest to help aid colored people. They combined forces with white liberals and black activist to form the NAACP.

Before branching out across the United States, the NAACP established its national office and headquarters in New York City in 1909. They emphasized on local organizing and established branch offices in Boston, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., Detroit, Michigan, Kansas City, Missouri and St. Louis, Missouri by 1913. The organizations first goal was to gain strength in their numbers and include members that had a great deal of influence on their race and communities (“Time Line”). Between 1917 and 1919 the organization had grew from 9,000 members to 90,000. They also wanted to gain a sense of independence by establishing their own magazine called The Crisis, which displayed the problems in the black community and gave important updates in national news. It also published the works of African American literacy figures, such as Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen. The Crisis provided a source for the black ear and was the voice of the Harlem Renaissance. The NAACP gave hope to the black race when all blacks had was faith. Blacks had prayed for an organization that would help in the fight for equality and peace. Those of that lived in the south were amazed at the magazine and the display of the Harlem Renaissance (Smith).

No comments:

Post a Comment