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The NAACP vs. BLM: The Black Liberation Movement of the Future

Aug 26, 2021 09:00AM ● By Kassidy Garland
logo of NAACP which is a scale, and logo of Black Lives Matter which is the text against a black background and three yellow lines beneath

In February of 1909, an interracial group of activists established the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in New York City. The group’s establishment came in response to the 1908 Springfield race riot in Illinois. 

The NAACP was founded by W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida Wells-Barnett, Mary Church Terrell, Archibald Grimke, Mary White Ovington, Henry Moskowitz, William English Walling, Oswald Garrison Villard. In addition to the national organization, there have been local branches. 


From the beginning of the organization, it was clear that the goal of the NAACP was to make changes through the judicial system, lobbying, and peaceful protests. The group has been integral in a number of policy changes, especially during the Civil Rights Movement. Their websites describes their mission “Our vision is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination.”

In later years, the NAACP has struggled financially, but they have remained focused on protecting voter rights, standing up for racial injustice, and making change, but many people argue that they have been overshadowed by newer organizations like Black Lives Matter. 

Black Lives Matter was established in 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi in the form of a hashtag after the verdict and the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin. The organization grew quickly as the hashtag spread and it became a movement rather than a phrase. With a large social media presence, younger organizations like BLM have grown exponentially in a world based around technology. 

While both groups maintain that their goal is to call out the racial injustices in America and make change in policies for the African American community, BLM openly calls out the problems with previous groups, by stating “Our network centers those who have been marginalized within Black liberation movements.”


BLM reached groups that were not only marginalized in this country, but by previous Black liberation movements as well, including queer, trans, and disabled people. While the NAACP aims to focus its efforts entirely on racial discrimination, many, specifically younger generations, expect more. In the eyes of these younger activists, gone are the days that social injustice occurs in any way, shape, or form.

This new call for justice begs the question of whether the NAACP is obsolete or still relevant. BLM is new and fresh, but will it stand the test of time the same way the NAACP did? Activists from all over agree to one thing, they are tired of the mistreatment of the Black community, but the question of how we move forward, and with whom, remains.


Black Lives Matter


 Kassidy Garland has had a great appreciation for reading and writing since she was young. She graduated from West Chester University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English & Women and Gender Studies. With a concentration in creative writing, Kassidy has 5 years of experience writing blogs, articles, and for social media. Kassidy is also pursuing a Master’s degree in IT with a concentration in Web Development. Based out of Philadelphia, Kassidy loves to write about a number of topics and looks forward to sharing her passion with those at FunTimes Magazine. 

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