The Tenth Annual Report of the NAACP for the year 1919
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
First and foremost among the objectives for 1920 must be the continued strengthening of the Association’s organization and resources. Its general program must be adapted to specific ends. Its chief aims have many times been stated:
A vote for every Negro man and woman on the same terms as for white men and women.
An equal chance to acquire the kind of an education that will enable the Negro everywhere wisely to use this vote.
A fair trial in the courts for all crimes of which he is accused, by judges in whose election he has participated without discrimination because of race.
A right to sit upon the jury which passes judgment upon him.
Defense against lynching and burning at the hands of mobs.
Equal service on railroad and other public carriers. This to mean sleeping car service, dining car service, Pullman service, at the same cost and upon the same terms as other passengers.
Equal right to the use of public parks, libraries and other community services for which he is taxed.
An equal chance for a livelihood in public and private employment.
The abolition of color-hyphenation and the substitution of “straight Americanism.” …
Lynching must be stopped. Many Americans do not believe that such horrible things happen as do happen when Negroes are lynched and burned at the stake. Lynching can be stopped when we can reach the heart and conscience of the American people. Again, money is needed.
Legal work must be done. Defenseless Negroes are every day denied the “equal protection of the laws” because there is not money enough in the Association’s treasury to defend them, either as individuals or as a race.
Legislation must be watched. Good laws must be promoted wherever that be possible and bad laws opposed and defeated wherever possible. Once more money is essential.
The public must be kept informed. This means that our regular press service under the supervision of a trained newspaper man must be maintained and strengthened. Every opportunity must be sought out to place before the magazine and periodical reading public, constructive articles on every phase of Negro citizenship …. That colored people are contributing their fair share to the well-being of America must be made known … . That law-abiding colored people are denied the commonest citizenship rights, must be brought home to all Americans who love fair play. Once again, money is needed.
The facts must be gathered and assembled. This requires effort. Facts are not gotten out of one’s imagination. Their gathering and interpretation is skilled work. Research workers of a practical experience are needed. Field investigations, in which domain the Association has already made some notable contributions, are essential to good work. More money.
The country must be thoroughly organized. The Association’s more than 300 branches are a good beginning. An increased field staff is essential to the upbuilding of this important branch development. A very large percentage of the branch members are colored people. Colored people have less means, and less experience in public organization, than white people. But, they are developing rapidly habits of efficiency in organization. Money, again is needed.
But, not money alone is needed. Men and women are vital to success. Public opinion is the main force upon which the Association relies for a victory of justice. Particularly do we seek the active support of all white Americans who realize that a democracy cannot draw the color line in public relations without lasting injury to its best ideals.