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The civil rights movement in the United States has been a long, primarily nonviolent struggle to bring full civil rights and equality under the law to all Americans. It has been made up of many movements, though it is often used to refer to the struggles between 1945 and 1970 to end discrimination against African-Americans and to end racial segregation, especially in the U.S. South. It focuses on that particular struggle, rather than the comparable movements to end discrimination against other ethnic groups within the United States or those struggles, such as the women's liberation, gay liberation, and disabled rights movements, that have used similar tactics in pursuit of similar goals. The civil rights movement has had a lasting impact on United States society, both in its tactics and in increased social and legal acceptance of civil rights. One of the most important organizations of this era was the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). NAACP is an organization composed mainly of American blacks, but with many white members, whose goal is the end of racial discrimination and segregation.
The association was formed as the direct result of the lynching (1908) of two blacks in Springfield, Ill. The incident produced a wide response by white Northerners to a call by Mary W. Ovington, a white woman, for a conference to discuss ways of achieving political and social equality for blacks. This conference led to the formation (1910) of the NAACP, headed by eight prominent Americans, seven white and one, William E. B. Du Bois, black (wikipedia 1). The selection of Du Bois was significant, for he was a black who had rejected the policy of gradualism advocated by Booker T. Washington and demanded immediate equality for blacks. From 1910 to 1934 Du Bois was the editor of the association's periodical The Crisis, which reported on race relations around the world. The new organization grew so rapidly that by 1915 it was able to organize a partially successful boycott of the motion picture The Birth of a Nation, which portrayed blacks of the Reconstruction era in a distorted light( Spartacus 2).
Most of the NAACP's early efforts were directed against lynching. In this area it could claim considerable success. In 1911 there were 71 lynchings in the United States, with a black person the victim 63 times; by the 1950s lynching had virtua...
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...erica's darker citizens were denied.
From the ballot box to the classroom, the dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders who forged this great organization and maintain its status as a champion of social justice, fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. The legacy of those pioneers such as W.E.B DuBois, Thurgood Marshall and Roy Wilkens and the hundreds of thousands of nameless faces who worked tirelessly cannot and must not be forgotten (NAACP 1).
The history of the NAACP is one of blood sweat and tears. From bold investigations of mob brutality, protests of mass murders, segregation and discrimination, to testimony before congressional committees on the vicious tactics used to bar African Americans from the ballot box, it was the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society. While much of its history is chronicled in books, articles, pamphlets and magazines, the true movement lies in the faces---black, white, yellow, red, and brown---united to awaken the conscientiousness of people, and a nation.
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