Monday, July 13, 2009

NAACP Centennial Convention

The NAACP is celebrating its centennial year and in honor of that, they returned to New York, the city where the organization was founded in 1909.

The Centennial NAACP convention started July 11 and is running through July 16.

President Obama spoke to last year's convention in Cincinnati and will address this year's gathering on July 16. Given the history that he is making every day, that should be an interesting speech and I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say.

It's interesting that as the NAACP is gathered in its birthplace for their centennial convention and eagerly anticipate the first African-American president's speech to it, we got not so friendly reminders that we still have much work to do.

With the president's own daughter being verbally attacked by people on the Free Republic website and a group of African-American kids being denied access to a suburban Philadelphia swimming pool, seems like we're still in the prehistoric racial and not the post-racial world.

Contrary to the people that complain and state that the NAACP isn't relevant anymore, these incidents point to the fact the NAACP is very much needed in the 21st Century.

Yeah, I'd like to see them take a more vocal stance against the violence directed at Black transpeople, among other issues I have with it. Like any organization, it's only as good as its members, the senior leadership and the board that runs it.

It's not perfect by any means, but neither am I willing to say they aren't 'relevant' as some of its critics do. I like what I see in NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous and I'm willing to give him time to show what he can do.

The Congressional Civil Rights Report Cards they do, along with the work of their their legal arm, the ACT-SO and other youth programs along with being forceful advocates for our people makes them very relevant.

My challenge to you peeps who don't think so is to join your local branches and do what you feel is necessary to make them 'relevant' in your eyes.

Congratulations to the NAACP in its centennial year. Thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do for our people in this century.

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