NAACP celebrates 100 years

NAACP, which is the nation’s oldest Civil Rights organization, will celebrate its 100th year anniversary today at 6 p.m. The GSU District G NAACP centennial celebration will be held at Mt. Zion church in Grambling,All of the NAACP units across the United States will host various activities and services to commemorate the organization’s role in striving for the economic equality of rights of all persons.

During our centennial celebration we will emphasize the role that the organization has played throughout the changing times of this great nation. The headquarters, located in Baltimore has planned several centennial events that will end with the NAACP’s Annual Convention in 2010.

As the NAACP begins its next 100 years journey, the national president and CEO, Benjamin Todd Jealous, says the organization must shift its mission from achieving Civil Rights to attaining human rights for all. Some people feel that just because we have an African American President our goals have been achieved and the struggle is over, when in fact our struggle has just begun.

Jealous adds that he would like to see the following issues addressed during President Obama’s first year in office: ensuring fair distribution of federal bailout funds, programs and contracts; reducing double-digit Black unemployment; dealing with lenders who push minorities with good credit into subprime mortgages; reducing the disparity between unsolved homicides in minority and white communities; and ensuring minority children have access to good schools.

According to Jealous, “NAACP members are not just satisfied with simply having a Black president.”

While celebrating our history this month, let’s honor and commit to memory the legacy of NAACP’s founding members. Our founding members are Ida Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. DuBois, Henry Moscowitz, Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison Villiard, and William English Walling.

Many are surprised to know that Mary White Ovington was a Caucasian female that played a significant role in the NAACP. Not only did she serve as a board member, executive secretary, and chairman, but remained active in the struggle for woman’s suffrage.

W.E.B. Dubois served on the board of directors, director of publicity and research and editor of the Crisis, the NAACP’s monthly magazine. He was also a well known educator, scholar, poet, and Civil Rights Activist and leader. Although Medgar Evers was not a founding member, he played a significant role in the organization. Evers was the first NAACP field officer in Mississippi. In addition to his affiliation with the NAACP, Evers was heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement and influential in the desegregation of the University of Mississippi.