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Monday, April 8, 2019

The Historical Significance of the NAACP

NAACP members marching

Nationwide — On March 30, 2019, the most influential African American icons gathered at the 50th NAACP Image Awards, which honored excellence in film, television, music, and literature. Despite being in the news, the NAACP has been around for years, fighting for those who are less fortunate – learn more about the significance of the NAACP and their cause.

Early Beginnings
Founded in 1909, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was formed in New York City and remains America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Protestors organized the group after the 1908 Springfield race riot in Illinois.

Both Black and white people alike founded the NAACP. Famous African Americans such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida Wells-Barnett, Archibald Grimke, and Mary Church Terrell joined forces with white progressives including Mary White Ovington, Henry Moskowitz, William English Walling, and Oswald Garrison Villard.

The NAACP’s Mission
The NAACP is one of the many organizations fighting for equality for those who have suffered from discrimination. The organization has been operating since the early days of racism -specifically, the civil rights movement. According to the NAACP’s website, their constitutions first page contains the following goals:

• To ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all citizens
• To achieve equality of rights and eliminate race prejudice among the citizens of the United States
• To remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes
• To seek enactment and enforcement of federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights
• To inform the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and to seek its elimination
• To educate persons as to their constitutional rights and to take all lawful action to secure the exercise thereof, and to take any other lawful action in furtherance of these objectives, consistent with the NAACP’s Articles of Incorporation and this Constitution

The Modern NAACP
The significance of the NAACP continues to grow as they fight for equality in jobs, education, the criminal justice system, voting rights, and more. From kids to adults, anybody can join the movement. Similar to the NAACP Image Awards, there are other events hosted by the organization which recognizes and brings people together. The NAACP has more than 2,200 branches and more than half a million members worldwide.