NAACP Turns 101

This Friday marks the 101st anniversary of the NAACP. Founded in 1909 – a hundred years to the day of Abraham Lincoln’s birth – the NAACP launched its official organ in 1910: The Crisis. Deriving its name from James Russell Lowell’s 1844 poem “The Present Crisis,” the publication is among the longest-running African American periodicals. Only occasionally did the official subtitle of The Crisis, “A Record of the Darker Races,” appear on the cover. This subtitle was abandoned altogether in 1997, when the publication was then known as The New Crisis: The Magazine of Opportunities and Ideas. The publication has since returned to its original name and it now published quarterly.  The inaugural issue, shown here, was printed only in 1000 copies.

Numerous manuscripts collections at the Amistad Research Center reflect the work of the NAACP through the years. To cite just two examples, the papers of Daniel Ellis Byrd and Alexander Pierre (A. P.) Tureaud reflect the heroic and indefatigable efforts of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the long fight for equality.

Posted by Andrew Salinas

(From the library collection of the Amistad Research Center.  Image may not be reproduced without permission.)


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