BY WALTER OPINDE
On this day, 31st, May, 1909, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was born, when the National Negro Committee conference was arranged in the New York City.
The organization was created and initially referred to as the National Negro Committee, which was formed in response to the 1908’s Springfield race riots against the African American community in Springfield, Illinois. Consequently, several prominent black activists, as well as the white progressives called for a national conference in order to discuss the black civil rights. This group met with the central agenda of addressing the social, political, and economic rights of the Black Community. The meeting of the National Negro Committee thereby served as the predecessor, setting the foundation for the current National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which received its formal name later during the second meeting in May, 1910.
From September towards the close of 1908, an American socialist Walling William English published an article titled “Race War in the North” in The Independent. In his article, he described the immense white racial riots directed at members of the Black community in Springfield, Illinois; the hometown to the late President Abraham Lincoln. The riots had resulted in the death of seven people, the destruction of 40 homes and 24 businesses premises. The riots also resulted in the indictment of 107 people, mostly from the black community, who had tried to defend their homes. In the article, Walling concludes by asserting that a powerful body of citizens needed to come to the aid of African-American in the U.S.
By the dawn of 1909, a group of white liberalists, including journalist Ovington Mary White, issued a call for a national conference where they would discuss the prevailing social and political inequalities facing the black community in the U.S. William, .E B. DuBois, Mary Church Terrell, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett were among the top leaders of the group of 60 of February, 12, 1909, which also set the opportunity for the commemoration of President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. The first official meeting of what would be known as the National Negro Committee was held in the New York City on 31st May, 1909, with 300 men and women, both Black and white in the attendance. In the following year, 1910, the committee leaders organized for a meeting that would permanently rename the organization to be known as the NAACP.
Currently, the NAACP is the U.S. largest and longest living civil rights organization, after gaining its prominence during civil rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s. The organization remains as an active body that advocates for human equality and civil rights to every member of the society, with not less than 500 million supporters across the United States and worldwide.
Read more of the story via: https://www.jstor.org/stable/273282?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents