What Is the History of the NAACP?


Quick Answer

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded on February 12, 1909, in Illinois. The NAACP aligned itself with W. E. B. Du Bois' Niagara Movement of 1905, which pushed for the enforcement of the rights guaranteed by the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. The organization led in activism for the political, social, economical and educational issues affecting African Americans.

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Full Answer

The NAACP's headquarters opened in New York City in 1910, and by 1913 branch offices opened in six cities including Boston, Massachusetts; Baltimore, Maryland; Kansas City, Missouri; and Washington, D.C. Joel Spingarn became chairman of the board in 1915 and served as president of the organization from 1929 to 1939.

Through its first 40 years of existence, the organization lobbied congress and state governments to pass anti-lynching laws and end segregation practices. During the Civil Rights Era of the 1950s and 1960s, this NAACP helped push the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1964 and 1968, as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The organization also lent its support to the landmark 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case that ended segregation in public schools.

The NAACP continued its work on behalf of the African American community into the 21st century on issues such as voter empowerment and criminal justice.

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