NAACP Day Date in the current year: February 12, 2024

NAACP Day NAACP Day, also known as NAACP Founders Day, is celebrated annually on February 12. It commemorates the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909.

The NAACP is an American nonprofit civil rights organization that was founded to advance justice for African Americans. Its current mission is to “ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination”.

The catalyst for the creation of the NAACP was the Springfield race riot in Massachusetts. In 1908, a mob of about 5,000 white Americans and European sought to lynch two black men who had been arrested as suspects in a rape, and attempted rape and murder. Upon discovering that the suspects had been transferred out of the city by the sheriff, the mob rioted and started to attack black neighborhoods, destroy black businesses and homes, and murder black citizens in the streets. The riot lasted for three days from August 14 to 16, 1908.

Several months after the attacks, suffragist May White Ovington, labor reformer William English Walling, and civil rights activist Henry Moskowitz met in New York City and started working on creating an organization to advance black civil rights. They found support from like-minded individuals, including African American activists and leaders W. E. B. Du Bois, Archibald Grimké, Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells, and founded the NAACP on February 12, 1909. This date was chosen because of its symbolism: it was the 100th birth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln, the American president who abolished slavery.

The new organization was named the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Once the predominant and preferred term for African Americans, the term “colored” is now considered outdated and may be viewed as a slur in some contexts. The NAACP does not consider it offensive and retained is original name in accordance with the tradition, but prefers to use the acronym instead of its full name.

The NAACP’s original mission focused on promoting equal rights and eradicating racial prejudice in the United States. Over time, its mission has expanded to include questions of economic development, the status of black foreign refugees, police misconduct, and other issues. According to the NAACP’s official website, its current issues include race and justice, inclusive economy, advocacy and litigation, education innovation, health and well-being, environmental and climate justice, and new generation leadership.

Every year, the NAACP presents three awards: the NAACP Image Awards for excellence in the arts and media, the NAACP Theatre Awards for achievements in theatre and on stage, and the Springar Medal for an outstanding achievement of any kind by an African American.

There are many ways to get involved with NAACP Day. You can learn more about the history and mission of the organization, donate to or volunteer for the NAACP, join a local NAACP unit, support local businesses owned by people of color, and spread the word on social media with the hashtag #NAACPDay.

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NAACP Day, NAACP Founders Day, observances in the US, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People