William English Walling’s exposé about a bloody race riot in Springfield, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln’s hometown and burial site, resulted in the assembly of an interracial group to discuss proposals for an organization that would advocate the civil and political rights of African Americans in January 1909. The group issued a "call" resulting in the first National Negro Conference held in New York on May 31 and June 1, 1909. At the second annual meeting on May 12, 1910, the Committee adopted the formal name of the organization — the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The NAACP's goals were the abolition of segregation, discrimination, disenfranchisement and racial violence, particularly lynching.
- For what reasons was this document created?
- What were the main objectives of the National Negro Committee? Of these, which one was most important?
- The National Negro Committee was founded by an interracial group of whites and African Americans. In what ways did its platform reach out to white Americans? Why would whites be important partners in the fight for equal rights?
"Platform Adopted by the National Negro Committee," 1909. Courtesy of Library of Congress