American Government 1A
Oct 30, 2013
The NAACP was founded on February 12, 1909. It is an African-American civil rights organization in the United States. It has more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States, and the world. It stands of the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, campaigning for equal opportunity and conducting voter mobilization. It was all formed partly in response to the continuous practice of lynching. The NAACP often exerted pressure at the national level to combat racial injustice. For example, in 1918, this grouped helped persuade President Woodrow Wilson, to publicly denounce lynching. In 1922 it ended up placing advertisements condemning lynching in major newspapers throughout the U.S. It has also supported the civil rights legislation and has litigated through legal defense and education funds involving discrimination. This includes the Brown vs. Board of education trial of Topeka Kansas in 1954, which struck down racial segregation in public schools. This organization has attracted popular support for its positions through programs of education and public information. The NAACP also achieved national prominence during the Civil Rights movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s. With the national standing of the organization in 1980, it was able to stimulate widespread public opposition in the United States to apartheid, racial Anderson 2
segregation in South Africa. In 1991 the NAACP organized a massive voter-registration drive for African Americans that had helped bring out the defeat of the Former Fool Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, in the Senate race in Louisiana. From the 1990’s this organization was active in opposing rollback affirmative action laws, in supporting enterprise among African Americans, and in campaigns against youth violence. In 1986 it transferred its headquarters from NYC to Baltimore, Md. It also operates a bureau in Washington, D.C., and has branch offices in many U.S. cities. Every year since 1914 this organization has recognized an outstanding A.A award of the Spingarn Medal, named for Joel Elias Spingarn, who has served several terms as a chairman of the board of the NAACP in the early 20th century.
Black history month is usually the month that will bring the spurt of debates about civil rights. The problem with this reflection is that, while it may be entertaining and useful for venting, it is unable to provide any comprehensive recommendations for solving worsening problems. The impasse lies with the NAACP, and as it celebrates its 88th birthday on February 12th, the NAACP remains a shadow of what was once an organization on the cutting edge of the movement. The question that is prompting its current identity crisis is the same one that dichotomized the organization decades ago: How valid is integration as a civil rights goal? Irritated by the intense attacks on civil rights by right-wing reactionaries, a growing number of the groups, leaders who have recently expressed strongly minded doubts about pursuing the goal. When the NAACP rejected self-segregation decades ago, in a bitter battle which further Anderson 3
defined the organization, Du Bois, one of its founders, was forced to resign as editor of the crisis, which is its journal. For the organization to imply any doubt in its founding strategies is further indication of how severely it has been damaged by years of weak leadership and infighting. Despite the violent white opposition, the NAACP pressed for integration. Not even when the African Americans themselves began to question the busing of their children into hostile white areas of cities like Boston and Detroit did the organization waver in its course. And for what the NAACP, as one white women said, “It’s not the bus but the niggers”, that was the problem. With the extent of the NAACP’s debate over integration today is best demonstrated by the...
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