The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
National Vision Statement
The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.
The History of NAACP in Texas
By organizing and financing landmark civil-rights lawsuits, the NAACP in Texas became an important component of the national organization. The state's African Americans, who included a significant number of well-educated, urban professionals, had the financial resources and organizational talent to press for racial equality through litigation. As part of a national trend, Texas NAACP memberships increased dramatically during the World War I era. The state's first chapter, which had been established in El Paso in 1915, was joined by four new branches in 1918. In December of that year, national board member Mary B. Talbert toured the state promoting Liberty Loans and organized NAACP branches in nine cities. With 7,046 members and thirty-one branches, Texas became the association's leading state in these categories. A series of events in 1919, however, revealed the racial hostility that the organization faced. In July, a Longview mob burned black homes and businesses and beat a teacher, precipitating a sense of alarm among both blacks and whites (see LONGVIEW RACE RIOT OF 1919). Soon afterward the state attorney general subpoenaed the Austin branch's records to scrutinize its right to conduct business in Texas. When NAACP national secretary John Shillady learned of the impending challenge, he traveled to Austin to meet with state officials. He soon found himself an unwelcome visitor and, after receiving verbal abuse, was beaten by a gang composed in part of local officials. Governor William P. Hobby blamed Shillady and recommended that the organization stay out of Texas. The atmosphere of intimidation grew worse in the 1920's with the revival of the Ku Klux Klan. Many of the state's branches discontinued operations. Only five remained active by 1923. The Beaumont branch thought it best to disband temporarily "on account of the high race feelings in this part of the state." In Galveston, the organization's leaders seemed unwilling to pursue association programs that might displease whites. An NAACP member in Dallas reported that the branch president and officers seemed "afraid to death" to hold a meeting because of the Klan. When branches were unwilling to meet, however, the New York office encouraged them to raise funds quietly for activities elsewhere.
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