Early in the 20th century, mob lynchings were all too common, disproportionately targeting Black Americans. In 1916, NAACP prioritized advocating for anti-lynching legislation and formed a special committee to raise public awareness. This coordinated effort laid a foundation for the NAACP's signature approach to fighting for change: partnering with organizations, mobilizing volunteers, and spearheading advocacy at the highest levels.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 remains one of the hardest-fought safeguards for Black Americans and other minority groups. The power, agency, and access to vote is a right for all individuals, and attempts to restore the act to its fullest protections include the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, introduced in early 2019.
Drafted in 1935, this bill aimed to prosecute lynch mob participants and officials who failed to protect the accused. The NAACP hoped that the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 would bring an end to lynching. However, Roosevelt refused to speak out in favor of the bill, fearing he would jeopardize his chances of winning the next election. The bill died without ever going to the floor for a vote.