NAACP Founded

Colored sign

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in New York in February 1909. The NAACP published the journal called "Crisis," whose first editor was WEB Dubois. The organization was at the forefront of the attempts by blacks to achieve equality.

The predecessor of the NAACP was the Niagra Movement. Named for the location of the first meeting it was an attempt by African American to improve the status of the African members in the US. Thirty-two prominent leaders met on in Fort Eirie on the Canadian side of the Niagra River in 1905. The leader of the group was W.E.B DuBois. The organization had limited impact but continued to meet. The race riot in Springfield in 1908 is widely credited with being a catalyst for further action. Mary White Ovington, William English Wailing, and Henry Moskowitz met in New York City in January 1909 to find a way to find ways of improving the status of African Americans. They called a meeting on February 12, 1909. Joining them at the meeting were leading African Americans including DuBois.

The Niagra Movement held its annual meeting at the same time and merged with the newly formed group and called themselves the National Negro Committee. The group met the next year on May 30, 1910, and decided to name their organization as National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. They elected their first officers which included Moorfield Story as National President and William English Walling as Chairman of the Executive Committee. DeBois became the Director of Publicity and Research.

The association charter stated that its goal is:

To promote equality of rights and to eradicate caste or race prejudice among the citizens of the United States; to advance the interest of colored citizens; to secure for them impartial suffrage; and to increase their opportunities for achieving justice in the courts, education for the children, employment according to their ability and complete equality before law.