Will change come to the N.A.A.C.P.?
It is an indelible fact that time brings evolution and growth. Our country is not the same as it was 241 years ago. The same should be true for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The “C” word should be adapted to fit 2017 parlance.
I posit that if you were called that by a coworker police officer or store clerk you would bristle. The person says “You Colored People always ….” and your blood pressure just went higher.
There is a waning but truculent segment of our community that thinks the name should remain stagnant. Some of the more erudite of that camp have gone on record to say “It’s not in the name; it’s what you answer to!” No one reading this piece has ever responded to being called “Colored”.
Since its formation in 1909 this organization has been a vanguard for the African American populace. The origin came about from Dr. W.E.B. Dubois’ Niagara Movement. Dr. Du-Bois is noted for, among other things, being the first Black man to graduate with a P.H.D. from Harvard. Provided with the assistance and blessings of several members of the White society, he transformed it into the N.A.A.C.P. There is little debate that the origin of the name was an appeasement to the White members.
The nation’s racial disposition in the early 1900s should not go un-noticed. A more representative name would not have gotten the support the nascent organization needed. Not to mention the zealous push back it would have received from the masses then. Examine what happened to the Marcus Garvey “Back to Africa Movement.”
This prodigious group should focus on the “Advancement” part of the name. The reason no one has used the full name in decades is not for brevity. It’s because Colored is so anachronistic it fell out of favor in the 1950s. Time is past due for a name overhaul.