July 30, 2019 By Crisis Magazine Staff
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was created after a White mob in Springfield, Ill., destroyed a Black neighborhood and lynched two African American men. A group, including renowned scholar and historian W.E.B Du Bois, said no more. And for the next 110 years, the NAACP would fight to “advance the interest of colored citizens.”
Its fight would change the nation.
The civil rights organization rallied against lynching, spoke out against the film Birth of a Nation and successfully opposed a Supreme Court nominee. It fought against bus segregation, housing segregation, school segregation — and won.
Though most associate the NAACP with the historic 1954 Brown case which ruled separate but equal schools unconstitutional, few knew that Rosa Parks was an NAACP member who investigated the 1944 rape of Recy Taylor in Alabama or that James Weldon Johnson, author of the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, was an NAACP executive secretary.
The NAACP fought on behalf of Black servicemen. It dismantled Jim Crow in the courts with a team of brilliant legal minds put together by Charles Hamilton Houston. And members like Septima Clark, who created “Citizenship Schools” demonstrated the power of local leadership.
The following is just a glimpse of the NAACP’s many victories over the years, because when we fight, we win.