The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), founded in 1909, is celebrating its centennial in New York this week. The organization’s mission is “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.” Working in the streets as well as through the judicial system, the NAACP focused on ending segregation in the United States in the 1940s and 50s.
Dan Weiner, [Bus boycott, Montgomery, Alabama], 1956
Rosa Parks, an NAACP activist in Montgomery, Alabama, helped to organize the bus boycott in that city.
Francis Miller, [Hostile protesters following Elizabeth Eckford (left), who was refused entry to Central High School by Arkansas National Guardsmen by order of Governor Orval Faubus, Little Rock], 1957
Daisy Bates, of the Arkansas chapter, led the fight for the right of the Little Rock 9, a group of African American students, including Elizabeth Eckford, to attend a segregated high school in Little Rock. The legal fight was based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation was unconstitutional.
Flip Schulke, [Medgar Evers’s family at funeral home, Jackson, Mississippi], June 13, 1963
Medgar Evers, an NAACP field secretary, was shot and killed by a white supremacist outside his home in Jackson.
Paul Schutzer, [March on Washington], August 28, 1963
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which featured Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, was attended by over 200,000 people. Although the march was not supported by all civil rights organizations, the NAACP believed that it would draw attention to and support for civil rights legislation.