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The National Association for the Advanced of Colored People (NAACP) was founded in 1909. The organization was founded when a group of individuals included W.E.B Dubois, Ida Wells, William Walling, and Mary White Ovington among many others who met regularly to discuss the difficulties faced by African Americans, such as disenfranchisement and violence towards African Americans, and to propose possible solutions to these problems. When it was first formed the organization appointment Moorfield Storey as President. The first board that was created did not comprise solely of African Americans. In fact, there was only one African-American, W.E.B. Dubois, on the board which demonstrated that the organization was not exclusive to just African-Americans, that it served all ethnicities and minorities. Currently Brandon Jealous holds the position of President and CFO of the organization.

As there was a multitude of issues which the organization felt needed to be addressed various committees were organized to address these concerns. The NAACP had a committee devoted to using lawsuits to overturn Jim Crow Laws. The NAACP also focused on defeating the violent lynching that would occur in the South (Langston n.p.). The NAACP also created a legal defense fund geared towards assisting African Americans with the lawsuits they may face. In recent years the NAACP has shifted focus to addressing the education gap between minorities and whites. They have done this through creating a youth council which focuses on high schoolers to assist them to get to college. The NAACP also works on college campuses. 

The mission statement of the NAACP describes the goals of the organization. “The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination” (NAACP n.p.). Although the organization has colored people in its name the focus of the organization is to ensure equality for all people. The hope would be that if all people are equal then there would be no more prejudice or discrimination, such as was experienced on the Parchman Farm. While the organization has been synonymous with working for African Americans its goals are to eliminate all forms of discrimination based on race no matter the ethnic background. 

In the past, the NAACP focused on achieving its goals through the legal means of lawsuits and establishing defense fund. After the civil rights movement and discrimination became against the law, this method was no longer effective in achieving equality. The movement shifted towards utilizing grassroots organization to advance political causes. The movement also began to focus on the youth who have not witnessed the civil rights movement and how difficult it was to achieve the equality they now have. Through inspiring youth and ensuring that they are educated the NAACP is creating a younger generation of advocates who will fight for equality and an end to all race-based discrimination. Although some of the goals the NAACP strived for have been met, discrimination and racism still continues to this day. Institutionalized racism continues to hold back minorities from achieving their dreams. As this still continues the NAACP will still be relevant and needed to continue to fight against racism and discrimination.

Works Cited

Hughes, Langston. Fight for freedom: The story of the NAACP. Vol. 590. Norton, 1962.

Kellogg, Charles Flint. NAACP: a history of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Johns Hopkins Press, 1973.

"NAACP | National Association for the Advancement of Colored People." NAACP | National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2012.