Recognizing the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on Their 106Th Anniversaryby Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson
Posted on 2015-02-13
in the house of representatives
Friday, February 13, 2015
Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to
recognize one of the preeminent civil rights organizations in America,
the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, on
their 106th anniversary. Widely recognized as the nation's oldest and
largest civil rights group, this organization has been essential in
helping African Americans find and maintain their voice since its
founding in 1909.
Founded by W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells and a host of other progressive and forward thinking leaders, the NAACP has always been on the front lines for Blacks in this country.
[[Page E218]] Established partly in response to the horrific lynchings of the early 1900s, the group quickly expanded, focusing many of its early battles on the court system and legalized segregation. With the stated purpose of securing the rights guaranteed by the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments for all Americans, the NAACP worked tirelessly to secure equal protection under the law and the right to vote.
With the founding of the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund in 1939, America saw the brilliant litigation strategy of Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall as they advocated for the famous Brown v. Board of Education decision, which many credit with beginning the modern Civil Rights Movement.
As the 20th century neared its close, and African Americans experienced the transition from the overt racism that plagues the Jim Crow South to urban areas plagued by poverty and crime. Again, the NAACP adopted its mantra to meet this challenge and remains a relevant advocate improving the lives of Blacks in America.
I rise to recognize and celebrate the 106 year history of the NAACP's advocacy and. From the early 20th century, fighting for Blacks to serve as officers in World War I, to the present day efforts to address disparities in economic access and the criminal justice system, the NAACP continues to fulfill its mission of providing a voice to the voiceless and improving the quality of life for all Americans.