Archive for Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NAACP celebrates centennial

The NAACP celebrated its centennial on Thursday.

February 11, 2009


Robbie Derritt is the new president of the NAACP's Lawrence-Douglas County branch.

Robbie Derritt is the new president of the NAACP's Lawrence-Douglas County branch.

Three months after the country elected its first black president, the NAACP today celebrates it centennial as the nation’s most well-known civil rights organization.

Members of northeast Kansas NAACP branches say President Barack Obama taking office gives the organization a boost, decades after several other significant achievements.

“His election demonstrated support from both African Americans and the white community,” said Deborah Dandridge, an NAACP member and an associate librarian at Kansas University’s Spencer Research Library. “That’s exactly what the NAACP has represented. Its founders were both African-American and white. It was founded as an interracial organization.”

Founders started the organization Feb. 12, 1909, the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.

“It wouldn’t have existed this long if it was not needed,” said Robbie Derritt, a Lawrence real estate agent who is the new president of the NAACP’s Lawrence-Douglas County branch.

Kansas University’s Langston Hughes Center will present a symposium Friday to celebrate the founding and also honor Hughes, the legendary author who grew up in Lawrence and wrote a book in 1962 about the NAACP. The symposium will feature speakers from around the country. It is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union.

Nationally, the NAACP helped lead the charge on major civil rights legislation and decisions in the 1960s and 1970s, said Shawn Alexander, an assistant KU professor of African-American studies and interim director of the Langston Hughes Center.

Lawrence residents said the NAACP also played an important role here over the decades as membership has ebbed and flowed. The Lawrence branch signed its charter in 1921, and the community struggled with some difficult periods of race relations in the 1960s and 1970s.

A group of KU students also revived an NAACP branch on campus last year.

As Derritt took over leadership for the Lawrence branch, he said he would like to give the organization a higher profile.

“Just to let more people know that we’re there. We’re here, and we’re here to service the community,” he said.

Obama’s election to the White House does not mean there’s no more work for the NAACP, because forms of discrimination still exist, members said.

“Even the legal battles are still there. It will definitely be necessary for the remainder of the 21st century,” said Dandridge, who is a member of the Topeka NAACP.

National NAACP leaders last week also unveiled an agenda of “attaining human rights for all” including focusing on education.

“The NAACP is not just an African-American organization. It’s an organization for equal rights for all,” Derritt said.


Danimal 9 years, 2 months ago

I know someone will call me a racist for this, but NAACP is just an African-American organization. They shouldn't confuse themselves with the ACLU while they're all in a euphoric, Obamaniacal state. And change your name already, or stop being offended when my 91 year old grandfather still says colored people. If they are for "everyone" all of a sudden, they need to become the NAAE.

geniusmannumber1 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm sorry, white people. Are there some rights you should have but you're not getting that we should know about? Why so threatened?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 2 months ago

If the goal of the NAACP were to make black folks the elites of the US, I could understand all the vitriol. But their goal is to make themselves part of the greater society, to participate in the mainstream, not to set themselves apart.

But I also understand that a lot of white folks find that threatening.

TheOriginalCA 9 years, 2 months ago

Let's take the NAABP a step further. They will NOT come to the defense of blacks who are registered republicans. So it should really be NAALBP.

gogoplata 9 years, 2 months ago

I am starting up the NAAWP. Who is interested?

TheOriginalCA 9 years, 2 months ago

gogoplata (Anonymous) says…

I am starting up the NAAWP. Who is interested?

Since prominent dumbocrats have insisted that the new jobs not go to white males, in regards to the Porkulus Plan, we may need to do just that.

flux 9 years, 2 months ago

Its just one more way we create seperation as a society. People will keep seeing us as a divided country if we keep creating that seperation.

Alia Ahmed 9 years, 2 months ago

Congratulations, Mr. Derritt on your new office. About 90% of the comments on this story reinforce the need for the NAACP to continue. It would be wonderful if the need for your organization disappeared, but I don't see that happening based on many of the comments above. Unbelievably, these folks believe there is no overt or institutional racism in our criminal justice system, educational system and economic system. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Kat Christian 9 years, 2 months ago

Robbie Derrit is one of the nicest people I know. He will serve the NAACP well. I congratulate him. Yes, they are still much needed. Just by reading some of these comments is the NAACP is needed. IThere are a great deal of small minded folks in this country. So Bravo for you Robbie.

Corey Williams 9 years, 2 months ago

It's so much fun to see all these "anonymous" people spouting their racist beliefs. What brave people to whisper their little white power rants safely from their keyboards. Invictus wants:

"The right to my own country based on European tradition and religion. The right of self determination. It is the same as any struggle in world, weather the IRA, the Basques, Native Americans, African American, ect. These sentiments are only considered racist when spoken by the European race."

You ancestors had your own country somewhere else, so why don't you go back to it? And it's only considered racist when you take a country from the original inhabitants by force. Defenestrator was right, you do spell, and act, like a child.

"how about a little equality for the white man?"

How about 400 years of political, financial, and personal subjugation first? Then we'll talk about your NAAWP.

gogoplata 9 years, 2 months ago

If there is no problems with the NAACP there should be none with the NAAWP. If you are really intersted in liberty you should be promoting individual liberty for all races. Stop putting people in a box because of race or any other reasons. Individual liberty trumps equality.

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