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In 1903 Dr. WEB DuBois’s prophetic book, The Souls of Black Folk highlighted that the principle problem facing the 20th Century would be the color line. This Massachusetts native would go on to become the first editor of Crisis Magazine, the literary arm of the National Association For The Advancement of Colored People and long time advocate for social justice in America. Now some 100 years later the war against ethnic injustices continues, with the Boston Branch NAACP leading the charge in New England.
This weekend the Boston Branch celebrates one hundred years of advocating for the rights and freedom of Black, Brown, Asian and Native people throughout the region. Branch president Michael Curry will walk us through the history of this celebrated branch and answer a burning question we have: Are We Post Racial in an Obama Era?
In the Fall of 1909, the National Negro Committee in New York (which, in 1910, changed the name to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) held a meeting in Boston to bring together persons interested in civil rights for “colored” Americans. From this meeting came the Boston Committee to Advance the Cause of the Negro. This committee grew in membership and activity during 1910 and 1911. When the NAACP's Second Annual Conference was held at the Park Street Church in Boston in 1911, Boston was recognized at the first Branch of the organization. The early organizers in Boston were a small group made up of White abolitionists and their descendants such as the Garrisons, and Black professionals such as Butler Wilson, Clement Morgan and William Monroe Trotter. The early organizers had long recognized the great abuses to the Black citizens in Boston and throughout the United States , so they banded together “to assure equal opportunity and justice for each and every citizen.” It was on the evening of February 8, 1912 that 56 Bostonians, Black and White, male and female, gathered at the Park Street Church to receive the official Branch Charter inscribed with the following statement of purpose:
“To uplift the colored men and women of this country by securing to them the full enjoyment of their rights as citizens, justice in all courts, and equality of opportunity everywhere”
Over the years, the activities and accomplishments of the Boston Branch have been significant and varied. The problems and issues faced, and the strategies used, have changed and varied from year to year, only to reappear and reappear again.
Boston Branch Today
Today, the Boston Branch has a membership of approximately 1,000 people and holds regular monthly meetings at Roxbury Community College . Every month, the general public is invited to attend, participate in discussions, vote on key policy decisions, and voice concerns about local issues. The Boston Branch encourages individuals to join one of the many active committees that are designated to execute directives from the national office and meet the needs of the residents of the City of Boston . The Boston Branch is designated as a 501(c)(4) membership organization.
For more information visit their website at:
Is your world post racial? Leave your comments below.
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