Saluting a Century of Civil Rights Activism
History of Newark NAACP 1914-2014
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s most recognized and active grass-roots civil rights organization. A call was made on President Lincoln’s centennial birthday on February 12, 1909 for a national conference on the plight of Negroes in America, which included “discussion of present evils, the voicing of protests and the renewal of the struggle for civil and political liberty.” They wanted to bring national attention to the blatant disenfranchisement of the Negro.
Understanding the Negro was being disenfranchised both in the South and North, a small group of Newark citizens came together to address pressing concerns in the community. Chartered in 1914, the Newark Branch is now one of the oldest and largest branches in the state and country.
Historically, the Newark Branch has been an influential force behind major policy changes.
Where there were no Negro teachers or administrators in the Newark school district in the early 1950’s, the Newark branch advocated for integration.
Essex County had no ranking minority police officers and this policy remained until the 1960’s when the NAACP persuaded the Essex County Police Department to revise its rules. As a result, opportunities became available
The Newark Branch also led the call that promoted legislation in the 1980’s to end racial profiling on the NJ Turnpike. In addition, the branch hosted classes to enable more African Americans and Latinos to become state police.
Unfortunately, many of the issues that were prevalent in 1914 remain today.
The present relevance of the NAACP includes battling covert 21st century racism, which produces policies that shut off access to minorities thus yielding racist results.
For the last 100 years, more than 1,000 volunteer members in the greater Newark area have volunteered countless hours to serve the community in the areas of civil rights, legal redress, education, religious affairs, health, labor, economic empowerment an political action.
The Newark Branch continues to stand for “the civil and political liberty” of all persons and the elimination of racial hatred and discrimination in all forms.
The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.
The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.
The following statement of objectives is found on the ﬁrst page of the NAACP Constitution – the principal objectives of the Association shall be:
- To ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all citizens
- To achieve equality of rights and eliminate race prejudice among the citizens of the United States
- To remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes
- To seek enactment and enforcement of federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights
- To inform the public of the adverse eﬀects of racial discrimination and to seek its elimination
- To educate persons as to their constitutional rights and to take all lawful action to secure the exercise thereof, and to take any other lawful action in furtherance of these objectives, consistent with the NAACP’s Articles of Incorporation and this Constitution