By: Cadence Wright
For many years Black people have had to go through a lot. In the old days Black people were lynched as slaves. Many were killed and their bodies were never even found. You meant nothing to the world if you were Black. People didn’t care about our lives or what we had to say. Even when we tried to protest they just ignored us.
During the times of the Civil Rights Movement there were protests all over the country when Black People were not treated fairly. They wouldn’t let us eat in restaurants because of the color of our skin. They wouldn’t let us sit in the front of the city buses. They wouldn’t even allow us to vote even though we lived in the same country they lived in. Those had to be some rough times to live.
The NAACP is known for helping Black people. Black People used to be called “Colored”. The NAACP means National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. They became a voice for Black People when we had no voice at all. Many leaders in the local community wanted to help the NAACP and they had chapters in a lot of cities around the country. My grandfather was a member of the NAACP and so was my dad. The NAACP has solved many cases to help Black People.
It started on February 12, 1909 in New York City. They had one main reason to start this organization. They wanted to stop racist people in America. They thought we should be equal as Americans. Some of the founders were Mary White Ovington, W.E.B. DuBois and Ida B. Wells. Those were some of the people I have heard of who helped to make the NAACP. In every city there were intelligent Black people who gave the NAACP the resources it needed to help their community.
There is no way to talk about the NAACP without bringing up Thurgood Marshall. He was the brain behind the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund. When Blacks needed lawyers most times they couldn’t afford it. The NAACP’s LDF helped to get Blacks who were being wrongfully targeted the help they needed to fight in court. Thurgood Marshall founded LDF in 1940 and served as its first Director-Counsel. He was the man who put in place the country’s official policy against segregation. Marshall was the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court on which he served as Associate Justice from 1967-1991 after he was successfully nominated by President Johnson.
The NAACP first successful court case was in 1915. They stopped White people from conducting literacy tests that stopped Blacks from voting. The NAACP felt it was disrespectful to Blacks and unconstitutional. They didn’t want people to think being Black was a weakness. The NAACP wanted people to know Black people had power and were equal to White people.
I feel there is still a huge need for the NAACP today. There is so much Police Brutality towards Black boys and there is still a lot of racist stuff that goes on at people’s jobs. The NAACP along with Black Lives Matter, and all the other Black organizations have to stand up for us when we don’t have a way to stand up for ourselves.
Being Black is not a weakness or a weapon. Today the NAACP receives consistent support from many of the people I like. Chance The Rapper, Kevin Hart, Tyler Perry, and even President Obama. Thurgood Marshall is one person that I like because he was not scared to speak out. Black History Month is something I take serious with my family. The more I learn about our History the more pride I have in being a young Black man in America.