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The Centennial Commemoration of the Niagara Movement of 1905

WHEREAS, the Niagara Movement, 1905-1908, is the standard bearer for civil rights in the early 20th century, and served as the beacon for efforts to halt the socioeconomic, and political hemorrhaging borne from the tragic events of the late 1800s such as the Rutherford B. Hayes Compromise of 1877, and demise of the Reconstruction Period;, the Plessey vs. Ferguson Decision of the 1896; and D.W. Griffith's racist 1915 film Birth off a Nation, as well as a rising tide of racial violence and repression; and

WHEREAS, many advocates and activist alike agree that African Americans earned the right to citizenship through their heroism and sacrifice during the Civil War on such hollowed grounds as the assault on Fort Wagner, battle of New Market Heights (Chaffin's Farm), Vicksburg, Petersburg (Battle of the Crater) and Andersonville Prison Camp, to name a few. Or to quote the great 19th century orator, Frederick Douglass, "once the black gets upon his person the brass letters U.S., a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship in the United States." Additionally, in his autobiography (Life and Times), Douglass wrote: "I ... urged every man who could to enlist to get an eagle on his button, a musket on his shoulder, and the Star-Spangled Banner over his head." Yet, after every ensuing war we return fighting; and

WHEREAS, equally important to the Civil War are the stories of W.E.B. DuBois and William Monroe Trotter, both children of Civil War soldiers and who served as leading principals of the Niagara Movement, more commonly known as the precursor of the latter day twentieth century NAACP, and the role of African Americans as soldiers, and their contributions as returning veterans in the light for equal rights; and

WHEREAS, today's modern civil rights movement owes an enormous debt of gratitude to W.E.B. Dubois and William Monroe Trotter for the their leadership and contributions in the Historic Niagara Movement meetings that took place in: Buffalo, New York (1905); Niagara Falls, Canada (1905); Harpers Ferry, West Virginia (1906); Boston, Massachusetts (1907); Oberlin, Ohio (1908); and

WHEREAS, the Niagara Movement of 1905 is celebrating its 100th Anniversary, commemorating a nationwide unrelenting civil rights struggle, the need for vigilance continues to remain unchanged throughout our history in the United States of America. Even now as we continue the struggle and march forward in the Legislative process to extend the Voter Rights Act of 1965, in 2007; now

THEREFORE, BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP encourages all Units of the Association to acknowledge and support the Centennial Commemoration Celebrations of the Niagara Movement.

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