Why was NAACP created?



The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is one of the oldest and most influential civil rights organizations in the United States. It was established with a specific purpose in mind, which we will explore in this article. The NAACP has played a crucial role in fighting for equality and justice for African Americans, and understanding its origins is essential to comprehend its significance.

The Need for a Civil Rights Organization

The late 19th and early 20th centuries were marked by rampant racial discrimination, segregation, and violence against African Americans in the United States. African Americans faced systemic oppression and were denied basic civil rights. In this context, the creation of a civil rights organization became imperative to address these issues and advocate for change.

The Founding of the NAACP

The Birth of a Nation & The Origins of the NAACP

The Founding of NAACP

In 1909, a group of activists, including W.E.B. Du Bois, Mary White Ovington, and Moorfield Storey, came together to establish the NAACP. The organization was formed in response to the ongoing racial violence, particularly the 1908 race riots in Springfield, Illinois. Its primary goal was to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights for all individuals and to eliminate racial hatred and discrimination.

The NAACP recognized that achieving legal equality was crucial in dismantling systemic racism. They employed various strategies to challenge discriminatory laws and policies:

Lobbying for Legislative Change

The NAACP engaged in lobbying efforts to bring about legislative changes on both the state and federal levels. They advocated for anti-lynching laws, equal education opportunities, and voting rights for African Americans.

Challenging Segregation in Education

One of the landmark cases taken up by the NAACP was Brown v. Board of Education (1954). This case challenged the “separate but equal” doctrine and led to the Supreme Court ruling that segregated schools were unconstitutional.

The NAACP established a Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) to provide legal support for cases involving racial discrimination. The LDF played a crucial role in landmark cases such as Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) and Loving v. Virginia (1967).

Community Organizing and Activism

Alongside their legal efforts, the NAACP recognized the importance of grassroots organizing and activism. They worked tirelessly to mobilize communities and raise awareness about racial inequality. Some of their key strategies included:

Protests and Demonstrations

The NAACP organized and participated in numerous protests and demonstrations to draw attention to racial injustice. These events included marches, sit-ins, and boycotts, aiming to influence public opinion and pressure lawmakers to enact change.

Advocacy for Economic Opportunities

The NAACP advocated for economic opportunities for African Americans, including fair employment practices and equal access to housing and business opportunities. They fought against discriminatory practices that hindered economic progress within the Black community.

Collaboration with Other Civil Rights Organizations

The NAACP recognized the power of unity and collaborated with other civil rights organizations to amplify their efforts. They worked closely with organizations like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to coordinate actions and share resources.

Impact and Legacy

The NAACP’s contributions to the civil rights movement and the advancement of African Americans’ rights cannot be overstated. Through their relentless advocacy, they paved the way for significant legal victories, increased political representation, and improved social and economic conditions for African Americans. The NAACP continues to fight for racial justice to this day, addressing contemporary issues such as police brutality, voter suppression, and educational inequities.


The creation of the NAACP was a response to the urgent need for a civil rights organization that could effectively combat racial discrimination and advocate for the rights of African Americans. Their efforts, both legal and grassroots, have left an indelible mark on American history and continue to inspire ongoing struggles for equality and justice.

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