Segregation and the Civil Rights Movement

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What tactics and strategies did the NAACP use for racial and economic change?

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The strategies of the NAACP have evolved over time. When it was founded in 1909, this organization was focused on ending the ongoing cycles of anti-black violence and systemic disenfranchisement under Jim Crow laws. The NAACP focused on litigation efforts to challenge the legality of segregation laws. They led a number of influential lawsuits, including Guinn v. United States and Buchanan v. Warley. The NAACP also organized massive protests against discriminatory measures. They even led demonstrations against the pro-Ku Klux Klan film The Birth of a Nation in several cities across the country. Overall, the early strategies and tactics of the NAACP involved legal challenges to discriminatory laws and highly visible public protests against racist elements in society.

The NAACP also worked hard to shed light on racially motivated crimes. For instance, they sent investigators to Arkansas to investigate the deadly Elaine Race Riot in 1919. When they discovered evidence of racial crimes, they would publish reports and write articles for major newspapers to expose these crimes. It was hoped that this would galvanize public and political support for their cause.

Throughout the latter 20th Century, the NAACP continued to bring lawsuits against public and private organizations for violations of civil liberties. They also were instrumental in lobbying Congress to pass various civil rights acts.

Currently, the NAACP uses somewhat different tactics than in the past. Today, they function more as a public outreach group. They work to promote various organizations and people that work for social change by issuing awards and promoting their work. They also work hard to engage the youth to be social change makers through various youth empowerment programs.

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