NAACP

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NAACP

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is a civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909 as a bi-racial organization to advance justice for African Americans.

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The Race Riot of 1908 in Springfield, Illinois, the state capital and President Abraham Lincoln's hometown, was a catalyst showing the urgent need for an effective civil rights organization in the U.S. In the decades around the turn of the century, the rate of lynchings of blacks, particularly men, was at a high.

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Mary White Ovington, journalist William English Walling and Henry 

Moskowitz met in New York City in January 1909 to work on organizing for black civil rights.

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They sent out solicitations for support to more than 60 prominent Americans, and set a meeting date for February 12, 1909. This was intended to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln, who emancipated enslaved African Americans.

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While the first large meeting did not take place until three months later, the February date is often cited as the founding date of the organization.

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The NAACP was incorporated a year later in 1911.

 

The larger conference resulted in a more diverse organization, where the leadership was predominantly white. At its founding, the NAACP had one African American on its executive board, Du Bois.

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It did not elect a black president until 1975, but the executive directors, who were the chief operating officers, were primarily African Americans since the early 20th century.

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Du Bois continued to play a pivotal leadership role in the organization. He served as editor of the association's magazine, The Crisis, which had a circulation of more than 30,000. It was used both for news reporting and for publishing African-American poetry and literature.

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In its early years, the NAACP was based in New York City. It concentrated on litigation in efforts to overturn disenfranchisement of blacks, which had been established in every southern state by 1908, excluding most from the political system, and the Jim Crow statutes that legalized racial segregation.

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By 1914, the group had 6,000 members and 50 branches. It was influential in winning the right of African Americans to serve as military officers in World War I. Six hundred African-American officers were commissioned and 700,000 men registered for the draft.

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The following year, the NAACP organized a nationwide protest, with marches in numerous cities, against D. W. Griffith's silent movie The Birth of a Nation, a film that glamorized the Ku Klux Klan. As a result, several cities refused to allow the film to open.

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#February

 

 

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