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FunTimes Magazine

NAACP And Other Advocacy Group

Oct 20, 2019 03:32PM ● By Taja White


It is impossible to view Black History without learning about the level of activism and advocacy that took place to invoke social change. Slavery was abolished in 1865 however, Blacks were still experiencing high levels of discrimination, domestic terrorism, and racial injustices in America. The development of organizations formed to help the Black community were needed more than ever, as it was imperative for the community to come together.

Some of the biggest civil rights organizations included The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, The National Urban League, and The National Action Network. Fast forward to 2019 when it is evident that Black people are still experiencing the same unfair treatment, what is the relevance of these groups as it pertains to the current generation?

Before we answer that question we must first look at the background of these legacy organizations. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is one of the largest civil rights organizations in the U.S. The NAACP was founded in 1910 by a group of white liberals who were so enraged by the race riot in Springfield Illinois that they called a meeting of 60 people; 7 of them being African American.

The NAACP went on to developing the Civil Rights Movement, Brown vs. civil rights movement Board of Education and creating other educational, social and economic policy reform. As of today the NAACP has 2,200 functioning chapters nationwide on the collegiate and alumni level.

The National Urban League was founded in 1911 and was originally created by three groups that came together as one. The original purpose of this organization was to abolish racial segregation, discrimination and to ultimately help Black people from the south assimilate into urban life.

The National Urban League expanded its employment opportunity efforts by contributing to efforts such as affirmative action laws. Today, it continues to aid in legal mobilization, and work to decrease poverty and violence against communities of color.

The National Action Network NAN was founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton in New York City, New York. The formation of this organization was a direct response to police brutality, racial profiling, and stop and frisk laws. By working with local news stations and publications NAN put a major emphasis in changing the way the world see's people of color. Currently, the organization has evolved into 105 chapters nationwide and continues to advocate for the importance of police accountability and criminal justice reform.

These organizations set the frame work on what it meant to implement social change on various levels. Throughout the years other activist groups have come about and some may ask if organizations like the ones listed above are still pertinent at this time. The question of relevance today is always up for debate however if you look closely at the current movements like Black Lives Matter (BLM) you will see that the need for organizations such as the NAACP is still necessary.

The organizations mentioned above set the foundation for movements like Black Lives Matter to exist and operate. Black Lives Matter was fueled by social media and the ammo that the twitterverse creates. It lit a fire about a conversation that was already being had about police brutality against people of color and law enforcement. The Black Lives Matter movement has even implemented policy change in California through the “Right To Know” bill.

The organizers behind BLM wouldn't have been this successful without learning from organizations that came before them. Bringing awareness to the cause by forcing the world to pay attention, developing solidarity through shared experiences within the community and continuing to participate in the political process especially on the local level.

Although, the NAACP focuses on the liberation of the Black community as a whole, from every aspect, BLM refines their movement to breaking down systematic racism from institutions such as police forces and prison systems, and ending police brutality that has existed and has been tolerated in this country for centuries.

This generation is lucky enough to still have organizations like NAACP, National Urban League NUL, and National Action Network NAN around especially in this digital age; incorporating the old and the new so that we may continue to move forward.