National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: Other Efforts

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: Historical Background

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: Education Litigation

In addition to legal action to achieve equality between the races, the NAACP sought other means to advance the cause of equal justice for all Americans. The NAACP led marches and demonstrations and lobbied for a better life for African Americans. In addition, the NAACP produced research on issues such as lynching, Jim Crow laws, and discrimination in employment, educational institutions, and the armed forces. The NAACP also encouraged and continues to encourage voter registration and grassroots protests of injustice.

The modern NAACP is not as popular today as in the past when it won many important legal cases before the Supreme Court. Part of this may stem from the fact that insofar as the NAACP is a nonprofit organization, it is barred from direct political involvement. This limitation is necessary, however, because, following Brown, the NAACP needed more funds and manpower to help to ensure that the more than 2,500 individual school systems that had been segregated achieved unitary status. In addition, the NAACP needed funds to litigate local cases of police brutality, employment discrimination, and voting rights. What happened in Alabama is a good example of how the NAACP became involved. The leaders of the Montgomery bus boycott were all members of the local NAACP, as several held office in the local chapter when they decided to organize the bus boycott. The Alabama group also won six race-related cases before the Supreme Court, beginning with the bus boycott. Similar local and state organizations were established across the country to handle similar situations. The NAACP and LDF continue to conduct research on race-related political and legal issues, making the results available to local civil rights organizations.