Thursday, February 12, 2009

NAACP- 100 year Anniversary Today - Feb 12, 2009

1909 - 
On February 12th The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded by a multiracial group of activists, who answered "The Call," in the New York City, NY. They initially called themselves the National Negro Committee.

Ida Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. DuBois, Henry Moscowitz, Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison Villiard, William English Walling led the "Call" to renew the struggle for civil and political liberty.

Here are just a few of the actions taken by the NAACP in the first ten years. I am reminded of the courage that it must have taken to stand up against racism and injustice in those very turbulent times.

1910 - 
In the face of intense adversity, the NAACP begins its legacy of fighting legal battles addressing social injustice with the Pink Franklin case, which involved a Black farmhand, who unknowingly killed a policeman in self-defense when the officer broke into his home at 3 a.m. to arrest him on a civil charge. After losing at the Supreme Court, the following year the renowned NAACP official Joel Spingarn and his brother Arthur start a concerted effort to fight such cases.

- President Woodrow Wilson officially introduces segregation into the Federal Government. Horrified that President would sanction such a policy, the NAACP launched a public protest.

- The NAACP organizes a nationwide protest D.W. Griffiths racially-inflammatory and bigoted silent film, "Birth of a Nation."

1917 - 
In Buchanan vs. Warley, the Supreme Court has to concede that states can not restrict and officially segregate African Americans into residential districts. Also, the NAACP fights and wins the battle to enable African Americans to be commissioned as officers in World War I. Six hundred officers are commissioned, and 700,000 register for the draft..

- After persistent pressure by the NAACP, President Woodrow Wilson finally makes a public statement against lynching.

- To ensure that everyone, especially the Klan, knew that the NAACP would not be intimidated, the annual conference was held in Atlanta, considered one of the most active Klan areas.

Even one hundred years later there are still people who take the time to fight against injustice and who have the courage to stand up for what is right.

The National NAACP along with its 1,700 branches nation wide will host celebrations and observances in their local communities.

The Buffalo New York Branch NAACP will hold their celebration of the 100th Anniversary on Saturday, February 21, 2009, 1:00 p.m. at 200 E. Eagle Street, Buffalo. This Centennial event is free and open to the public.

I am a proud life member of the NAACP and encourage anyone who may be reading this to consider joining.
To contact the organization

Thank you to those early organizers who had the courage to stand up and speak out.

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