CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH: The NAACP, then and now

BY MOLLIE S. WATERS

The Greenville Standard

 

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, better known as the NAACP, was formed on Feb. 12, 1909.

According to a History.com article, the organization was founded to coincide with a historical date.

“On Feb. 12, 1909, the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth,” states the article, “a group that included African American leaders such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells-Barnett announced the formation of a new organization.

“Called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, it would have a profound effect on the struggle for civil rights and the course of 20th Century American history.”

Originally, the group was founded in response to race riots that were occurring in Illinois, plus the group wanted to see what could be done about the rising number of lynchings in America at the time.

One of the most important early events for the NAACP came in the mid-1950s.

“Perhaps its most famous legal victory came in 1954,” states the History.com article, “when NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund founder Thurgood Marshall won the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision.”

The case heralded the end of segregated schools.

Later, during the Civil Rights Movement, the NAACP would be pivotal in that movement’s success.

Today, the NAACP is still leading the way to insure equality for minorities in America.

Recently, the organization was involved in a federal case against the United States government.

According to the NAACP’s website, their organization along with two other parties sued the federal government about the 2020 Census.

The website states in part that the NAACP was trying “to combat the imminent threat that the 2020 Census will substantially undercount African Americans and other people of color in communities throughout the United States causing inequalities in political representation and deficiencies in federal funding of those communities.”

The NAACP also addresses such issues as federal advocacy, education, environmental and climate justice, health, economic opportunity, media diversity, and criminal justice.

For more information about the NAACP and its programs, visit their website at naacp.org.

 

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