The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is a civil rights
organization in the United States, formed in 1909 as an interracial endeavor to advance justice for African Americans
by a group including W. E. B. Du Bois
, Mary White Ovington
, Moorfield Storey
and Ida B. Wells
Its mission in the 21st century is "to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination". National NAACP initiatives include political lobbying, publicity efforts and litigation strategies developed by its legal team.
The group enlarged its mission in the late 20th century by considering issues such as police misconduct
, the status of black foreign refugees and questions of economic development. Its name, retained in accordance with tradition, uses the once common term ''colored people
,'' referring to those with some African ancestry.
The NAACP bestows annual awards on African Americans in two categories: Image Awards
are for achievement in the arts and entertainment, and Spingarn Medal
s are for outstanding achievement of any kind. Its headquarters is in Baltimore
, Maryland. On June 29, 2020 Washington, D.C., radio station WTOP
reported that the NAACP intends to relocate its national headquarters from its longtime home in Baltimore, Maryland, to the Franklin D. Reeves Center of Municipal Affairs, a building owned by the District of Columbia located on U and 14th Streets in Northwest Washington, D.C. Derrick Johnson, the NAACP's president and CEO, emphasized that the organization will be better able to engage in and influence change in D.C. than in Baltimore.
The NAACP is headquartered in Baltimore, with additional regional offices in New York
, Maryland, Texas
. Each regional office is responsible for coordinating the efforts of state conferences in that region. Local, youth, and college chapters organize activities for individual members.
In the U.S., the NAACP is administered by a 64-member board, led by a chairperson. The board elects one person as the president and one as chief executive officer for the organization. Julian Bond
, civil rights movement
activist and former Georgia State Senator, was chairman until replaced in February 2010 by health-care administrator Roslyn Brock
. For decades in the first half of the 20th century, the organization was effectively led by its executive secretary, who acted as chief operating officer. James Weldon Johnson
and Walter F. White
, who served in that role successively from 1920 to 1958, were much more widely known as NAACP leaders than were presidents during those years.
The organization has never had a woman president, except on a temporary basis, and there have been calls to name one. Lorraine C. Miller
served as interim president after Benjamin Jealous
stepped down. Maya Wiley
was rumored to be in line for the position in 2013, but Cornell William Brooks
Departments within the NAACP govern areas of action. Local chapters are supported by the "Branch and Field Services" department and the "Youth and College" department. The "Legal" department focuses on court case
s of broad application to minorities, such as systematic discrimination
in employment, government, or education. The Washington, D.C.
, bureau is responsible for lobbying
the U.S. government, and the Education Department works to improve public education
at the local, state and federal levels. The goal of the Health Division is to advance health care for minorities through public policy initiatives and education.
, the NAACP had approximately 425,000 paying and non-paying members.
The NAACP's non-current records are housed at the Library of Congress
, which has served as the organization's official repository since 1964. The records held there comprise approximately five million items spanning the NAACP's history from the time of its founding until 2003. In 2011, the NAACP teamed with the digital repository ProQuest
to digitize and host online the earlier portion of its archives, through 1972 – nearly two million pages of documents, from the national, legal, and branch offices throughout the country, which offer first-hand insight into the organization's work related to such crucial issues as lynching, school desegregation, and discrimination in all its aspects (in the military, the criminal justice system, employment, housing).
Predecessor: The Niagara Movement
The Pan-American Exposition
of 1901 in Buffalo
, New York, featured many American innovations and achievements, but also included a disparaging caricature of slave life in the South as well as a depiction of life in Africa, called "Old Plantation" and "Darkest Africa", respectively.
A local African-American woman, Mary Talbert
, was appalled by the exhibit, as a similar one in Paris
highlighted black achievements. She informed W. E. B. Du Bois
of the situation, and a coalition began to form.
In 1905, a group of thirty-two prominent African-American leaders met to discuss the challenges facing African Americans and possible strategies and solutions. They were particularly concerned by the Southern states
of blacks starting with Mississippi
's passage of a new constitution in 1890. Through 1908, Southern legislatures, dominated by white Democrats
, ratified new constitutions and laws creating barriers to voter registration and more complex election rules. In practice, this caused the exclusion of most blacks and many poor whites from the political system in southern states, crippling the Republican Party
in most of the South. Black voter registration and turnout dropped markedly in the South as a result of such legislation. Men who had been voting for thirty years in the South were told they did not "qualify" to register. White-dominated legislatures also passed segregation and Jim Crow
Because hotels in the US were segregated, the men convened in Canada
at the Erie Beach Hotel
on the Canadian side of the Niagara River
in Fort Erie
, Ontario. As a result, the group came to be known as the Niagara Movement
. A year later, three non-African-Americans joined the group: journalist William English Walling
, a wealthy socialist; and social workers Mary White Ovington
and Henry Moskowitz
. Moskowitz, who was Jewish, was then also Associate Leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture
. They met in 1906 at Harpers Ferry
, West Virginia, and in 1907 in Boston
The fledgling group struggled for a time with limited resources and internal conflict, and disbanded in 1910. Seven of the members of the Niagara Movement joined the Board of Directors of the NAACP, founded in 1909.
Although both organizations shared membership and overlapped for a time, the Niagara Movement was a separate organization. Historically, it is considered to have had a more radical platform than the NAACP. The Niagara Movement was formed exclusively by African Americans. Three European Americans were among the founders of the NAACP.
The Race Riot of 1908
, 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 an all-time high. 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.
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. 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.
The NAACP was founded on February 12, 1909, by a larger group including African Americans W. E. B. Du Bois
, Ida B. Wells
, Archibald Grimké
, Mary Church Terrell
, and the previously named whites Henry Moskowitz
, Mary White Ovington
, William English Walling
(the wealthy Socialist son of a former slave-holding family),
, a social reformer and friend of Du Bois; Oswald Garrison Villard
, and Charles Edward Russell
, a renowned muckraker
and close friend of Walling. Russell helped plan the NAACP and had served as acting chairman of the National Negro Committee
(1909), a forerunner to the NAACP.
On May 30, 1909, the Niagara Movement conference took place at New York City's Henry Street Settlement
House; they created an organization of more than 40, identifying as the National Negro Committee
Among other founding members was Lillian Wald
, a nurse who had founded the Henry Street Settlement where the conference took place.
Du Bois played a key role in organizing the event and presided over the proceedings. Also in attendance was Ida B. Wells-Barnett
, an African-American journalist and anti-lynching
crusader. Wells-Barnett addressed the conference on the history of lynching in the United States and called for action to publicize and prosecute such crimes. The members chose the new organization's name to be the ''National Association for the Advancement of Colored People'' and elected its first officers:
* National President, Moorfield Storey
* Chairman of the Executive Committee, William English Walling
* Treasurer, John E. Milholland
a prominent New York Republican
* Disbursing Treasurer, Oswald Garrison Villard
* Executive Secretary, Frances Blascoer
* Director of Publicity and Research, W. E. B. Du Bois
The NAACP was incorporated a year later in 1911. The association's charter expressed its mission:
The larger conference resulted in a more diverse organization, where the leadership was predominantly white. Moorfield Storey
, a white attorney from a Boston abolitionist family, served as the president of the NAACP from its founding to 1915. At its founding, the NAACP had one African American on its executive board, Du Bois. Storey was a long-time classical liberal and Grover Cleveland Democrat
who advocated ''laissez-faire
'' free markets, the gold standard
, and anti-imperialism
. Storey consistently and aggressively championed civil rights
, not only for blacks but also for Native Americans
and immigrants (he opposed immigration restrictions). Du Bois continued to play a pivotal leadership role in the organization, serving as editor of the association's magazine, ''The Crisis
,'' which had a circulation of more than 30,000.
''The Crisis'' was used both for news reporting and for publishing African-American poetry and literature. During the organization's campaigns against lynching, Du Bois encouraged the writing and performance of plays and other expressive literature about this issue.
The Jewish community contributed greatly to the NAACP's founding and continued financing.
Jewish historian Howard Sachar
writes in his book ''A History of Jews in America'' that "In 1914, Professor Emeritus Joel Spingarn
of Columbia University
became chairman of the NAACP and recruited for its board such Jewish leaders as Jacob Schiff
, Jacob Billikopf
, and Rabbi Stephen Wise
Jim Crow and disenfranchisement
, North Carolina, 1940 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 laws|Jim Crow statutes
that legalized racial segregation
In 1913, the NAACP organized opposition to President Woodrow Wilson
's introduction of racial segregation into federal government policy, workplaces, and hiring. African-American women's clubs were among the organizations that protested Wilson's changes, but the administration did not alter its assuagement of Southern cabinet members and the Southern block in Congress.
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. 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.
The NAACP began to lead lawsuits targeting disfranchisement and racial segregation early in its history. It played a significant part in the challenge of ''Guinn v. United States
'' (1915) to Oklahoma
's discriminatory grandfather clause
, which effectively disenfranchised most black citizens while exempting many whites from certain voter registration requirements. It persuaded the Supreme Court of the United States
to rule in ''Buchanan v. Warley
'' in 1917 that state and local governments cannot officially segregate African Americans into separate residential districts. The Court's opinion reflected the jurisprudence of property rights and freedom of contract as embodied in the earlier precedent it established in ''Lochner v. New York
In 1916, chairman Joel Spingarn invited James Weldon Johnson
to serve as field secretary. Johnson was a former U.S. consul to Venezuela
and a noted African-American scholar and columnist. Within four years, Johnson was instrumental in increasing the NAACP's membership from 9,000 to almost 90,000. In 1920, Johnson was elected head of the organization. Over the next ten years, the NAACP escalated its lobbying and litigation efforts, becoming internationally known for its advocacy of equal rights and equal protection for the "American Negro".
The NAACP devoted much of its energy during the interwar years
to fighting the lynching
of blacks throughout the United States by working for legislation, lobbying and educating the public. The organization sent its field secretary Walter F. White
to Phillips County
, Arkansas, in October 1919, to investigate the Elaine Race Riot
. More than 200 black tenant farmers were killed by roving white vigilantes and federal troops after a deputy sheriff's attack on a union meeting of sharecroppers
left one white man dead. White published his report on the riot in the ''Chicago Daily News''. The NAACP organized the appeals for twelve black men sentenced to death a month later based on the fact that testimony used in their convictions was obtained by beatings and electric shocks. It gained a groundbreaking Supreme Court decision in ''Moore v. Dempsey
'' that significantly expanded the Federal courts' oversight of the states' criminal justice systems in the years to come. White investigated eight race riots and 41 lynchings for the NAACP and directed its study ''Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States''.
The NAACP also worked for more than a decade seeking federal anti-lynching legislation, but the Solid South
of white Democrats voted as a bloc against it or used the filibuster in the Senate to block passage. Because of disenfranchisement, African Americans in the South were unable to elect representatives of their choice to office. The NAACP regularly displayed a black flag stating "A Man Was Lynched Yesterday"
from the window of its offices in New York to mark each lynching.
In alliance with the American Federation of Labor
, the NAACP led the successful fight to prevent the nomination of John Johnston Parker
to the Supreme Court, based on his support for denying the vote to blacks and his anti-labor rulings. It organized legal support for the Scottsboro Boys
. The NAACP lost most of the internecine battles with the Communist Party
and International Labor Defense
over the control of those cases and the legal strategy to be pursued in that case.
The organization also brought litigation to challenge the "white primary
" system in the South. Southern state Democratic parties had created white-only primaries as another way of barring blacks from the political process. Since southern states were dominated by the Democrats, the primaries were the only competitive contests. In 1944 in ''Smith v. Allwright
'', the Supreme Court ruled against the white primary. Although states had to retract legislation related to the white primaries, the legislatures soon came up with new methods to severely limit the franchise for blacks.
Legal Defense Fund
The board of directors of the NAACP created the Legal Defense Fund
in 1939 specifically for tax purposes. It functioned as the NAACP legal department. Intimidated by the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, the Legal and Educational Defense Fund, Inc., became a separate legal entity in 1957, although it was clear that it was to operate in accordance with NAACP policy. After 1961 serious disputes emerged between the two organizations, creating considerable confusion in the eyes and minds of the public.
By the 1940s, the federal courts were amenable to lawsuits regarding constitutional rights, against which Congressional action was virtually impossible. With the rise of private corporate litigators such as the NAACP to bear the expense, civil suits became the pattern in modern civil rights litigation, and the public face of the Civil Rights Movement
. The NAACP's Legal department, headed by Charles Hamilton Houston
and Thurgood Marshall
, undertook a campaign spanning several decades to bring about the reversal of the "separate but equal
" doctrine announced by the Supreme Court's decision in ''Plessy v. Ferguson
The NAACP's Baltimore
chapter, under president Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson
, challenged segregation in Maryland state professional schools by supporting the 1935 ''Murray v. Pearson
'' case argued by Marshall. Houston's victory in ''Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada
'' (1938) led to the formation of the Legal Defense Fund in 1939.
The campaign for desegregation culminated in a unanimous 1954 Supreme Court decision in ''Brown v. Board of Education
'' that held state-sponsored segregation of public elementary schools was unconstitutional
. Bolstered by that victory, the NAACP pushed for full desegregation throughout the South. NAACP activists were excited about the judicial strategy. Starting on December 5, 1955, NAACP activists, including Edgar Nixon
, its local president, and Rosa Parks
, who had served as the chapter's Secretary, helped organize a bus boycott
, Alabama. This was designed to protest segregation on the city's buses, two-thirds of whose riders were black. The boycott lasted 381 days. In 1956 the South Carolina legislature created an anti-NAACP oath, and teachers who refused to take the oath lost their positions. After twenty-one Black teachers at the Elloree Training School refused to comply, White school officials dismissed them. Their dismissal led to Bryan v. Austin in 1957, which became an important civil rights case. In Alabama, the state responded by effectively barring the NAACP from operating within its borders because of its refusal to divulge a list of its members. The NAACP feared members could be fired or face violent retaliation for their activities. Although the Supreme Court eventually overturned the state's action in ''NAACP v. Alabama
'', , the NAACP lost its leadership role in the Civil Rights Movement while it was barred from Alabama.
New organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
(SCLC, in 1957) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
(SNCC, in 1960) rose up with different approaches to activism. Rather than relying on litigation and legislation, these newer groups employed direct action and mass mobilization to advance the rights of African Americans. Roy Wilkins
, NAACP's executive director, clashed repeatedly with Martin Luther King Jr.
and other civil rights leaders over questions of strategy and leadership within the movement.
The NAACP continued to use the Supreme Court's decision in ''Brown'' to press for desegregation of schools and public facilities throughout the country. Daisy Bates
, president of its Arkansas state chapter, spearheaded the campaign by the Little Rock Nine
the public schools in Little Rock
By the mid-1960s, the NAACP had regained some of its prominence in the Civil Rights Movement by pressing for civil rights legislation. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
took place on August 28, 1963. That fall, President John F. Kennedy sent a civil rights bill to Congress before he was assassinated.
President Lyndon B. Johnson
worked hard to persuade Congress to pass a civil rights bill aimed at ending racial discrimination in employment, education and public accommodations, and succeeded in gaining passage in July 1964. He followed that with passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
, which provided for protection of the franchise, with a role for federal oversight and administrators in places where voter turnout was historically low.
Under its anti-desegregation director J. Edgar Hoover
, the FBI
program targeted civil rights groups, including the NAACP, for infiltration, disruption and discreditation.
became NAACP President in 1966. After his death in 1975, scientist W. Montague Cobb
took over until 1982. Roy Wilkins
retired as executive director in 1977, and Benjamin Hooks
, a lawyer and clergyman, was elected his successor.
In the 1990s, the NAACP ran into debt. The dismissal of two leading officials further added to the picture of an organization in deep crisis.
In 1993, the NAACP's Board of Directors narrowly selected Reverend Benjamin Chavis
over Reverend Jesse Jackson
to fill the position of Executive Director. A controversial figure, Chavis was ousted eighteen months later by the same board. They accused him of using NAACP funds for an out-of-court settlement in a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Following the dismissal of Chavis, Myrlie Evers-Williams
narrowly defeated NAACP chairperson William Gibson
for president in 1995, after Gibson was accused of overspending and mismanagement of the organization's funds.
In 1996, Congressman Kweisi Mfume
, a Democratic
Congressman from Maryland and former head of the Congressional Black Caucus
, was named the organization's president. Three years later strained finances forced the organization to drastically cut its staff, from 250 in 1992 to 50.
In the second half of the 1990s, the organization restored its finances, permitting the NAACP National Voter Fund to launch a major get-out-the-vote offensive in the 2000 U.S. presidential elections
. 10.5 million African Americans cast their ballots in the election; this was one million more than four years before.
The NAACP's effort was credited by observers as playing a significant role in Democrat Al Gore
's winning several states where the election was close, such as Pennsylvania
Lee Alcorn controversy
During the 2000 presidential election, Lee Alcorn, president of the Dallas
NAACP branch, criticized Al Gore's selection of Senator Joe Lieberman
for his vice-presidential candidate because Lieberman was Jewish. On a gospel talk radio show on station KHVN, Alcorn stated, "If we get a Jew person, then what I'm wondering is, I mean, what is this movement for, you know? Does it have anything to do with the failed peace talks
? ... So I think we need to be very suspicious of any kind of partnerships between the Jews at that kind of level because we know that their interest primarily has to do with money and these kind of things."
NAACP President Kweisi Mfume immediately suspended Alcorn and condemned his remarks. Mfume stated,
I strongly condemn those remarks. I find them to be repulsive, anti-Semitic, anti-NAACP and anti-American. Mr. Alcorn does not speak for the NAACP, its board, its staff or its membership. We are proud of our long-standing relationship with the Jewish community and I personally will not tolerate statements that run counter to the history and beliefs of the NAACP in that regard.
Alcorn, who had been suspended three times in the previous five years for misconduct, subsequently resigned from the NAACP. He founded what he called the Coalition for the Advancement of Civil Rights. Alcorn criticized the NAACP, saying, "I can't support the leadership of the NAACP. Large amounts of money are being given to them by large corporations that I have a problem with."
Alcorn also said, "I cannot be bought. For this reason I gladly offer my resignation and my membership to the NAACP because I cannot work under these constraints."
Alcorn's remarks were also condemned by the Reverend Jesse Jackson
, Jewish groups and George W. Bush's rival Republican presidential campaign. Jackson said he strongly supported Lieberman's addition to the Democratic
ticket, saying, "When we live our faith, we live under the law. He ieberman
is a firewall of exemplary behavior."
, another prominent African-American leader, said, "The appointment of Mr. Lieberman was to be welcomed as a positive step."
The leaders of the American Jewish Congress
praised the NAACP for its quick response, stating that: "It will take more than one bigot like Alcorn to shake the sense of fellowship of American Jews
with the NAACP and black America ... Our common concerns are too urgent, our history too long, our connection too sturdy, to let anything like this disturb our relationship."
George W. Bush
In 2004, President George W. Bush
declined an invitation to speak to the NAACP's national convention. Bush's spokesperson said that Bush had declined the invitation to speak to the NAACP because of harsh statements about him by its leaders.
In an interview, Bush said, "I would describe my relationship with the current leadership as basically nonexistent. You've heard the rhetoric and the names they've called me."
Bush said he admired some members of the NAACP and would seek to work with them "in other ways".
On July 20, 2006, Bush addressed the NAACP national convention. He made a bid for increasing support by African Americans for Republicans, in the midst of a midterm election
. He referred to Republican Party support for civil rights.
Tax exempt status
In October 2004, the Internal Revenue Service
informed the NAACP that it was investigating its tax-exempt status based on chairman Julian Bond
's speech at its 2004 Convention, in which he criticized President George W. Bush as well as other political figures.
In general, the US Internal Revenue Code
prohibits organizations granted tax-exempt
status from "directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office." The NAACP denounced the investigation as retaliation for its success in increasing the number of African Americans who were voting.
In August 2006, the IRS investigation concluded with the agency's finding "that the remarks did not violate the group's tax-exempt status."
As the American LGBT rights movement gained steam after the Stonewall riots
of 1969, the NAACP became increasingly affected by the movement to gain rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Bond, while chairman of the NAACP, became an outspoken supporter of the rights of gays and lesbians, and stated his support for same-sex marriage
. He boycotted the 2006 funeral services for Coretta Scott King
, as he said the King children had chosen an anti-gay megachurch. This was in contradiction to their mother's longstanding support for the rights of gay and lesbian people. In a 2005 speech in Richmond
, Virginia, Bond said:
:African Americans ... were the only Americans who were enslaved for two centuries, but we were far from the only Americans suffering discrimination then and now. ... Sexual disposition parallels race. I was born this way. I have no choice. I wouldn't change it if I could. Sexuality is unchangeable.
In a 2007 speech on the Martin Luther King Day Celebration at Clayton State University
, Georgia, Bond said, "If you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married." His positions have pitted elements of the NAACP against religious groups in the civil rights movement who oppose gay marriage, mostly within the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
(SCLC). The NAACP became increasingly vocal in opposition against state-level constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage and related rights. State NAACP leaders such as William J. Barber, II
of North Carolina participated actively against North Carolina Amendment 1
in 2012, but it was passed by conservative voters.
On May 19, 2012, the NAACP's board of directors formally endorsed same-sex marriage as a civil right, voting 62–2 for the policy in a Miami
, Florida quarterly meeting. Benjamin Jealous, the organization's president, said of the decision, "Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. ... The NAACP's support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the 14th Amendment
of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people." Possibly significant in the NAACP's vote was its concern with the HIV/AIDS crisis
in the black community; while AIDS support organizations recommend that people live a monogamous lifestyle, the government did not recognize same-sex relationships as part of this. As a result of this endorsement, Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr. of Des Moines
, Iowa, resigned from the NAACP board.
Travel warning regarding Missouri
On June 7, 2017, the NAACP issued a warning for African-American travelers to Missouri
Individuals traveling in the state are advised to travel with extreme CAUTION. Race, gender and color based crimes have a long history in Missouri. Missouri, home of Lloyd Gaines, Dred Scott and the dubious distinction of the Missouri Compromise and one of the last states to lose its slaveholding past, may not be safe. ... issouri Senate BillSB 43 legalizes individual discrimination and harassment in Missouri and would prevent individuals from protecting themselves from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in Missouri.
Moreover, over-zealous enforcement of routine traffic violations in Missouri against African Americans has resulted in an increasing trend that shows African Americans are 75% more likely to be stopped than Caucasians.
Missouri NAACP Conference president Rod Chapel, Jr., suggested that visitors to Missouri "should have bail
Local branch impact
The organization's national initiatives, political lobbying, and publicity efforts were handled by the headquarters staff in New York and Washington, DC. Court strategies were developed by the legal team based for many years at Howard University
NAACP local branches have also been important. When, in its early years, the national office launched campaigns against ''The Birth of a Nation'', it was the local branches that carried out the boycotts. When the organization fought to expose and outlaw lynching, the branches carried the campaign into hundreds of communities. And while the Legal Defense Fund developed a federal court strategy of legal challenges to segregation, many branches fought discrimination using state laws and local political opportunities, sometimes winning important victories.
Those victories were mostly achieved in Northern and Western states before World War II
. When the Southern civil rights movement gained momentum in the 1940s and 1950s, credit went both to the Legal Defense Fund attorneys and to the massive network of local branches that Ella Baker
and other organizers had spread across the region.
Local organizations built a culture of black political activism.
NAACP President & CEO Benjamin Jealous
and former president [[Bill Clinton during the [[Medgar Evers wreath-laying ceremony in Arlington, June 5, 2013
Youth sections of the NAACP were established in 1936; there are now more than 600 groups with a total of more than 30,000 individuals in this category. The NAACP Youth & College Division is a branch of the NAACP in which youth are actively involved. The Youth Council is composed of hundreds of state, county, high school and college operations where youth (and college students) volunteer to share their opinions with their peers and address issues that are local and national. Sometimes volunteer work expands to a more international scale.
Youth and College Division
"The mission of the NAACP Youth & College Division shall be to inform youth of the problems affecting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities; to advance the economic, education, social and political status of African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities and their harmonious cooperation with other peoples; to stimulate an appreciation of the African Diaspora and other African Americans' contribution to civilization; and to develop an intelligent, militant effective youth leadership."
Since 1978, the NAACP has sponsored the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics
(ACT-SO) program for high school youth around the United States. The program is designed to recognize and award African-American youth who demonstrate accomplishment in academics, technology, and the arts. Local chapters sponsor competitions in various categories for young people in grades 9–12. Winners of the local competitions are eligible to proceed to the national event at a convention held each summer at locations around the United States. Winners at the national competition receive national recognition, along with cash awards and various prizes.
The environmental justice
group at NAACP has 11 full-time staff members. In April 2019, the NAACP published a report outlining the tactics used by the fossil fuel industry. The report claims that "Fossil fuel companies target the NAACP for manipulation and co-optation." The NAACP has been concerned about the influence of utilities which have contributed massive amounts of money to NAACP chapters in return for chapter support of non-environmentally friendly goals of utilities. In response, the NAACP has been working with its chapters to encourage them to support environmentally sound policies.
* NAACP Image Awards
– honoring African-American achievements in film, television, music, and literature
* NAACP Theatre Awards
– honoring African-American achievements in theatre productions
* Spingarn Medal
– honoring general African-American achievements
* Thalheimer Award – for achievements by NAACP branches and chapters
* Montague Cobb Award – honoring African-American achievements in the field of health
* Nathaniel Jones Award for Public Service – first awarded to public servants in 2018
* Foot Soldier In the Sands Award – awarded to attorneys who have contributed legal expertise to the NAACP on a pro bono basis
* Juanita Jackson Mitchell Award for Legal Activism – awarded to a NAACP unit for "exemplary legal redress committee activities"
* William Robert Ming Advocacy Award – awarded to lawyers who exemplify personal and financial sacrifice for human equality
* Althea T. L. Simmons
* Civil rights movement (1896–1954)
* Chicago Better Housing Association
* ''The Crisis
'', official magazine
* NAACP New Orleans Branch
* NAACP Theatre Award – President's Award
* Niagara Movement
* Rachel Dolezal
* Racial integration
* Alexander, Shawn Leigh. ''An Army of Lions: The Civil Rights Struggle Before the NAACP.'' (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012).
* Berg, Manfred. ''The Ticket to Freedom: The NAACP and the Struggle for Black Political Integration'' (Univ. Press of Florida. 2007).
* Browne-Marshall, Gloria J. ''The Voting Rights War: The NAACP and the Ongoing Struggle for Justice.'' Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016.
* Bynum, Thomas L. ''NAACP: Youth and the Fight for Black Freedom, 1936–1965.'' Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 2013.
* Carle, Susan D. ''Defining the Struggle: National Racial Justice Organizing, 1880–1915'' (Oxford UP, 2013). 404pp. focus on NAACP.
* Dalfiume, Richard. "The Forgotten Years of the Negro Revolution," ''Journal of American History
'' 55 (June 1969): 99–100. fulltext in JSTOR
* Fleming, Cynthia Griggs. ''In the Shadow of Selma: The Continuing Struggle for Civil Rights in the Rural South.'' Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2004.
* Francis, Megan Ming. 2014. "The Birth of the NAACP, Mob Violence, and the Challenge of Public Opinion.
" in ''The Birth of the NAACP, Mob Violence, and the Challenge of Public Opinion''. Cambridge University Press.
*Goings, Kenneth W. ''The NAACP Comes of Age: The Defeat of Judge John J. Parker.'' (1990).
* Hughes, Langston. ''Fight for Freedom: The Story of the NAACP.'' (1962)
* Janken, Kenneth Robert. ''White: The Biography of Walter White, Mr. NAACP.'' New York: The New Press, 2003.
* Jonas, Gilbert S. ''Freedom's Sword: The NAACP and the Struggle against Racism in America, 1909–1969.'' London: Routledge
* Kellogg, Charles Flint. ''NAACP: A History of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.'' Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1967.
* Lewis, David Levering
. ''W.E.B. DuBois.'' In Two Volumes. (1994
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NAACP History and GeographyMap of NAACP branchesCivil Rights Movement Archive
Official site of the Brooklyn, New York Branch
NAACP in Georgia
President Obama NAACP Speech: "Your Destiny Is In Your Hands … No Excuses"
– video by ''The Huffington Post''
NAACP Turns 100: The History and Future of the Nation's Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Organization
FBI file on the NAACPInterview with W. C. Patton, retired director of the NAACP Voter Education Department and Mr. Joseph Madison, current director of the Voter Education Department (NAACP)
1984-11-01, In Black America
; KUT Radio
, American Archive of Public Broadcasting
and the Library of Congress)
Overview of NAACP records
at the Library of Congress
, the official repository of the national organization
NAACP branches database
including membership numbers and officer names. From the Mapping American Social Movements project at the University of Washington.
Du Bois Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Umass Amherst
''Who Speaks for the Negro'' Vanderbilt documentary websiteNational Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Region 1 Photograph Collection, ca. 1940–1982
at The Bancroft Library
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Region I, Records, 1942–1986 (bulk 1945–1977)
at The Bancroft Library
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Vancouver Branch records
1914–1967. 2.10 cubic feet (5 boxes). At thLabor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special CollectionsNAACP Convention in Atlanta
Civil Rights Digital Library.“NAACP Highlights. 1979 NAACP Convention Coverage,”
1979-06, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards
Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting
Category:1909 establishments in the United States
Category:Civil liberties advocacy groups in the United States
Category:Civil rights movement
Category:Nonpartisan organizations in the United States
Category:Organizations based in Baltimore
Category:Organizations established in 1909