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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. The NAACP was formed in 1909 with the goal to secure for all people the rights guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution. Drawing in members of earlier groups, such as the National Afro-American Council and the Niagara Movement as well as many others, the NAACP grew through a strong emphasis on local organizing via branch offices. Between 1917 and 1919, membership grew from 9,000 to 90,000 and the number of local branches reached 300.
W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the founders in 1909 and served as director of publicity and research for the NAACP from 1910 to 1934, founding The Crisis magazine as "the premier crusading voice for civil rights" (The title changed to The New Crisis in 1997 and then back to The Crisis in 2003.)
From its earliest days, the NAACP fought legal battles to win social justice for African Americans. The architect and chief strategist of the NAACP's legal campaign to end segregation was Special Counsel Charles Hamilton Houston, who was succeeded in the position of Special Counsel by his protegee Thurgood Marshall. For an overview of their strategy and its successes, see the NAACP Legal History page from the Association's website.
To learn more, check out books about the NAACP from your Milwaukee Public Library.