Delicia K. Wheeler
September 29, 2013
Organizations That Have Benefited African Americans
In this chapter we will discover different groups and organizations promoting racial equality. African Americans have faced and overcome many obstacles throughout history. We will discuss four groups that played a significant role in the fight for equal rights for African Americans. These four groups can all be linked together sometime in the history of the Civil Rights Movement. Under leadership of influential people these groups made headway for equality for African Americans.
The first organization we will learn about is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People better known as NAACP. This organization was founded on February 12, 1909. The NAACP is the nation’s oldest, largest and most recognized civil rights organization. It consists of more than half-million members and supporters nationally. The NAACP was formed in response to the practices of lynching and the 1908 race riot in Springfield, Illinois. A group of white liberals actually started the organization. The NAACP’s goal was to guarantee the rights in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments of the United States Constitution to all people. These amendments included an end to slavery, the equal protection of the law, and universal adult male suffrage. The organizations objective is to make sure equality is experienced by all minority group citizens of the United States and eliminate race prejudice. Their goal through democratic processes is to remove all barriers of racial discrimination. In 1910 the NAACP founded The Crisis magazine which is the official publication of the organization. This magazine consists of articles discussing critical issues confronting people of color. The Crisis is still published today every quarter of the year. The NAACP membership grew rapidly from 1917 to 1919. The organization went from 9,000 members to 90,000 members in these two years. They also had more than 300 local branches across the United States. In 1946 the NAACP recorded approximately 600,000 members. The organization established themselves as an important legal advocate through a series of court battles with losses and victories. During the Great Depression the NAACP focused on economic justice. Years went by trying to help African Americans reach job equality in the United States. With the persistence of the organization President Roosevelt agreed to open thousands of jobs to black workers when they threatened a national March on Washington in 1941. The President also agreed to ensure compliance with the Fair Employment Practices Committee. During the Civil Rights Era the NAACP helped pass the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1964, and 1968, also the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The organization provided legal representation and aid to other protest groups over time. In today’s world the NAACP strives for equality in economics, health care, education, voter empowerment and the criminal justice system.
The second organization is the Congress of Racial Equality abbreviated as CORE. The founders of CORE were influenced by nonviolent resistance. They were funded entirely by contributions of its members. The organization was co-led by a white college student and a black college student. In 1942 CORE began their protests against segregation in public places. CORE’s early members consisted of mostly white middle-class college students from the Midwest. After a few years the membership was made up of less fortunate African Americans. The CORE organization was involved in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. They also participated in President Kennedy’s Voter Education Project (VEP) and the March on Washington in 1963. The CORE went through many hardships throughout the years with leadership changes and problems