What were the political goals of the Urban League? How did they differ from the political goals of the NAACP?

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paceke | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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The National Urban League, founded in 1910 as the National League on Urban Conditions Among Negros, was created with the goals of giving blacks in the United States a stake in the American economy, an equal opportunity toward employment, and access to long term investments and financial opportunities. 

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, was founded one year before the Urban League. Their goals according to the organization charter:

To promote equality of rights and to eradicate caste or race prejudice among the citizens of the United States; to advance the interest of colored citizens; to secure for them impartial suffrage; and to increase their opportunities for securing justice in the courts, education for the children, employment according to their ability and complete equality before law.

While the National Urban League fought for economic equality on the local level, filing appeals with city courts and city councils, attempting to change the dialogue of black activity in the American economy, and offering scholarships to entice black students into four year university programs, the NAACP fought for civil rights at the national level bring multiple cases to the Supreme Court and subsequently became instrumental in the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In many ways, their goals complimented one another with the National Urban League attempting to ensure equal access to finances and economic opportunity while the NAACP tried to secure equal access to the vote and what they considered fundamental civil rights—both of which were considered instrumental in giving equal status and rights to black Americans.

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