National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

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National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Born from the Niagara Movement, led by William E. B. DuBois, the NAACP has had a volatile birth and a lively history (Beifuss 17:E4). The impetus for the creation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People came in the summer of 1908. Severe race riots in Springfield, Illinois, prompted William English Walling to write articles questioning the treatment of the Negro. Reading the articles, Mary White Ovington and Dr. Henry Moskowitz were compelled to meet with Walling. Consequently, the three along with a group of black and white citizens had considered the present state of the Negro, disfranchised in the South and taxed while going unrepresented in the government, a national conference needed to be held to answer the "Negro Question" (Jenkins). It was then that the idea of NAACP was created.

February 12, 1909, Lincoln's birthday, a conference to review the progress that the nation made since Emancipation Proclamation and to celebrate Lincoln's birthday took place; Thereupon, a statement, now known as "The Call", was released. This statement reiterated the treatment of the black race since 1865. Many notable figures in history signed "The Call" , e.g., Ida Wells Barnett, Jane Adams, W.E.B. DuBois and John Dewey. In a matter of two months, another conference was held. As a result of that conference, the NAACP was born. A distinct factor of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which set it apart from its congruent movement, the Niagara Movement, was involvement of both races. The early success was due in large part to the interracial membership (Franklin 91). A large part of the membership consisted of white socialist and liberals (Franklin). For some time the NAACP was white- led. In time the Association became black dominated; Specifically, under the guidance of James Weldon Johnson. During the rule of Johnson, the NAACP began to form...
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