Black Organizations

Black Organizations In 1865 the institution of slavery was officially dismantled with the end of the Civil War. When the 13th amendment to the Constitution was ratified by the states, African Americans found themselves as free as their masters, though the fight for true equality continues to this day.

That fight for equality is supported largely by black organizations -- groups of African Americans joining together to make their struggle less painful. Black organizations like the NAACP (founded in 1910) and Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (founded in 1969) have influenced great changes in the landscape of America, ensuring their place in the history books.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Scholars like W. E. B. Dubois and William Monroe Trotter began what was called the Niagara Movement in 1905 when they met in Niagara Falls to discuss civil liberties, racial discrimination, and other topics that would one day form the crux of the NAACP. That organization officially began in 1910 also under the direction of Dubois. The NAACP formed after the Niagara Movement collapsed and high profile racially charged crimes in the scholar's hometowns drove them to form a national organization with black people's interests in mind.

The Nation of Islam
Formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1930 by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad, the Nation of Islam was first concerned with improving quality of life for African Americans. Muhammad made it clear that the advancement of black people depended on their making spiritual, mental, and social changes. Eventually a spiritual element crept in, namely the idea that God will deliver a state of universal peace at some unknown point in the future. Most Muslims don't consider the Nation of Islam a Muslim religion, but a civil rights group that uses Islamic terms. The modern Nation of Islam is considered by many to be a racist organization or even a hate group, based on a few pieces of anti-Semitic and anti-white speech made by its members.

The Black Panther Party
The original name for this radical political group of the 60s and 70s was The Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Called "revolutionaries" by some, the Black Panther Party was certainly Leftist and at times extreme. Known for their belief in "militancy", the Black Panthers were known for their violent streak and were often photographed carrying weapons openly. The original aim of the Panthers was to protect "African American neighborhoods" from police brutality, hence the "Self Defense" part of the original name. The Party was dissolved in 1976 after a prominent member was convicted of manslaughter.

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
Founded in 1969 by Congresspersons Shirley Chisholm and William L. Clay (among others), the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's official aim is to "positively influence the course of events pertinent to African-Americans." Some white politicians today argue that the CBC shouldn't exist as a racially segregated organization, but their actions through the years have bolstered black presence in government and African American access to the inner workings of Washington.