Black History: The Niagara Movement

16266194_1576646812351280_7451924563813283492_nI am one who is critical of most of the black so-called civil rights organizations. Mainly because they are funded by white people and dare, I say if you “follow the money you will get the answer” “he who has the gold makes the rules.” In the case of the NAAP, the fact of the matter is that it was formed by ‘White’ people for the purpose of advancing the economic interests of Jewish people in the United States.

In the beginning, Ida B. Wells was one of the original members, but when she began advocating for ‘Black’ people’s interests, they removed her from the organization. The only other black member was DuBois, who stayed for a short time, but eventually left. In more than one hundred years nothing much has changed. They still put a black face out there that can do nothing but grin!

The association’s charter delineated its mission:

To promote equality of rights and to eradicate caste or race prejudice among the citizens of the United States; to advance the interest of colored citizens; to secure for them impartial suffrage; and to increase their opportunities for securing justice in the courts, education for the children, employment according to their ability and complete equality before law.

In 1905, a group of thirty-two prominent African American leaders met to discuss the challenges facing people of color and possible strategies and solutions. They were expressly concerned by the disenfranchisement of Negro’s in the Southern states, particularly because of Mississippi’s passage of a new constitution in 1890. Also, in the early 1900s legislatures dominated by white Democrats ratified new constitutions and laws creating barriers to voter registration and more complex election rules. Black voter registration and turnout dropped markedly in the South; as a result.

Because hotels in the U.S. were segregated, the men convened in Canada at the Erie Beach Hotel on the Canadian side of the Niagara River in Fort Erie, Ontario. As a result, the group came to be known as the Niagara Movement. A year later, three whites joined the group: journalist William E. Walling, social worker Mary White Ovington, and social worker Henry Moskowitz. They met in 1906 at Harper Ferry, West Virginia, and in 1907 in Boston Massachusetts.

The fledgling group struggled for a time with limited resources and internal conflict and disbanded in 1910. Seven of the members of the Niagara Movement joined the Board of Directors of the NAACP, founded in 1909. Although both organizations shared membership and overlapped for a time, the Niagara Movement was a separate organization. Historically it is considered to have had a more radical platform than the NAACP. The Niagara Movement was formed exclusively by African Americans.

This conference resulted in a more influential and diverse organization, where the leadership was predominantly white, and most of whom were Jewish American. In fact, at its founding, the NAACP had only one African American on its executive board – Du Bois. It did not elect a black president until 1975, although executive directors had been African American. The Jewish community contributed greatly to the NAACP’s founding and continued financing. Jewish historian Howard Sachar writes in his book A History of Jews in America; “In 1914, Professor Emeritus Joel Spingarn of Columbia University became chairman of the NAACP and recruited for its board the early Jewish-American co-founders and members.”

According to Pbs.org, over the years, Jews have also expressed empathy (capability to share and understand another’s emotion and feelings) with the plight of Blacks. In the early 20th century, Jewish newspapers drew parallels between the Black movement out of the South and the Jews’ escape from Egypt. Pointing out that both Blacks and Jews lived in ghettos, and calling anti-Black riots in the South “pogroms.” Stressing the similarities, rather than the differences, between the Jewish and Black experience in America. Jewish leaders emphasized the idea that both groups would benefit the more America moved toward a society of merit, free of religious, ethnic and racial restrictions.”

Pbs.org further states, “The American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, and the Anti-Defamation League were central to the campaign against racial prejudice. Jews made substantial financial contributions to many civil rights organizations. About 50 percent of the civil rights attorneys in the South during the 1960s were Jews, as were over 50 percent of the Whites who went to Mississippi in 1964 to challenge Jim Crow Laws.

As a member of the Princeton chapter of the NAACP, Albert Einstein corresponded with Du Bois and in 1946; Einstein called racism “America’s worst disease.” Du Bois continued to play a pivotal role in the organization and served as editor of the association’s magazine, The Crisis, which had a circulation of over 30,000.

Moorfield Storey, who was white, was the president of the NAACP from its founding to 1915. Storey consistently and aggressively championed civil rights not only for blacks but also for Native Americans and immigrants. The board of directors of the NAACP created the Legal Defense Fund in 1939 specifically for tax purposes. It functioned as the NAACP legal department.

Intimidated by the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, the Legal and Educational Defense Fund, Inc., became a separate legal entity in 1957. Although, it was clear that it was to operate in accordance with NAACP policy. After 1961, serious disputes emerged between the two organizations creating considerable confusion in the eyes and minds of the public.

I am for anyone or group with the intention to benefit the dire state of the African American. However, during my research for this piece I only found a few significant achievements over its more than one hundred year history. It appears that this group is funded by whites, and it is they who guide policy in a way to silently suppress the “Negro” then and now. Think about it, if this organization was fighting for black people like the narrative implies – they would have been wiped out like all of the other groups fighting for the freedom of black people! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

About Thought Provoking Perspectives

Welcome to Thought Provoking Perspectives a blog designed to be a potent source of empowering knowledge to broaden the information base with those who share my passion for the written word and the empowerment of thought. View all posts by Thought Provoking Perspectives

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