The NAACP, formally the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is one of the oldest civil rights organizations in the United States. The NAACP formed in 1909, led by W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells, Moorfield Storey, who served as the group’s first president. In its 1911 charter, the NAACP declared its mission to be the promotion of equality, advancing the interest of “colored citizens” (the term for African-Americans used at the time), and securing justice, education, employment and equality before the law.
During its early years, the NAACP largely focused on attempting to overturn Jim Crow laws throughout the South. In 1913, the NAACP opposed President Wilson’s segregation of the federal government, and protested the 1914 film Birth of a Nation. After World War I, the NAACP focused much of its efforts in combating lynching in the United States. Efforts to pass anti-lynching laws were blocked in the U.S. Congress, and the NAACP frequently flew a flag that declared “A Man Was Lynched Today” outside of its New York City offices.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund was largely instrumental in bringing the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned segregation. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, the NAACP frequently clashed with Dr. King’s SCLC, however the group remains of the primary organizations within the African-American community in promoting equality and justice.