Organizations for change: Civil rights teams, then and now, battle for social justice (and extra) | Black Historical past

The cause of racial equality has been promoted by many groups over the decades. Really, it started in the church where blacks have found relative freedom to express their concerns and organize their response to injustice.

Violence against blacks increased in the early 1900s, after white supremacy prevailed and the gains of the reconstruction era were undone. In response to the deadly race uprising of 1908 in Springfield, Illinois, and to the growing lynch epidemic in the south and beyond, a group of men and women, white and black, came together to take action.


The NAACP set up a legal arm that sent lawyers, including Thurgood Marshall, to South Carolina and other states to address injustice in the courtroom. Marshall arrives in Charleston to hear the Briggs vs. Elliott case. File / Cecil Williams / Provided


The NAACP was founded in 1909 by WEB Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, Archibald Grimké, Mary Church Terrell, Henry Moskowitz, Mary White Ovington, and others. The aim was to enable black people to have “political, educational, social and economic equality”.

In 1948 it pushed for the integration of the armed forces. She urged Congress to pass the civil rights laws of 1957, 1960, 1964, and 1968 to eliminate inequalities in voting, employment, and housing.

A powerful branch of law was established sending attorneys, including Thurgood Marshall, to South Carolina and other states to address injustice in the courtroom.

Congress for Racial Equality

CORE was founded in Chicago in 1942 by activists George Houser, Homer Jack, James Farmer Jr., Bayard Rustin, Bernice Fisher and Joe Guinn.

The organization was involved in many important civil rights movement activities during the 1960s, such as the Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, the election registration drives in Mississippi in the summer of 1964, and the desegregation efforts in Chicago and Durham, NC


The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is pictured at an integration rally in Montgomery, Ala., On May 21, 1961. File / Horace Cort / AP

Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Founded in 1957 in Atlanta by Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth and others immediately after the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott, SCLC developed an ideology of nonviolent confrontation. It was involved in many initiatives, from the Washington March to the Selma-Montgomery March. Under King’s leadership, his focus shifted over the years from integration to economic justice.

Organizations Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King (center) marches on hospital workers’ strike in Charleston in 1969. File / staff

SCLC was one of the “Big Five” civil rights groups that included the NAACP, the National Urban League, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the Racial Equality Congress. It was instrumental in the Charleston Hospital strike of 1968-69. Coretta Scott King and Ralph Abernathy joined marching strikers and provided strategic assistance.

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Famed SCLC matriarch Ella Baker had organized a conference at Shaw University in Raleigh after the 1960 Greensboro, NC sit-ins that founded SNCC. The organization represented a big change in the civil rights movement: Now young people would get involved.

SNCC members attended many events during the 1960s, although the group mainly focused on sustainable projects such as election campaigns and the formation of opposition political parties. By 1966 his focus had shifted from integration to self-determination for the Black Power movement. The most famous leaders were John Lewis and Stokely Carmichael. Cleveland Sellers Jr., a young activist from Denmark, was promoted to program director under Carmichael.

Black Panthers Cleaver

Eldridge Cleaver of the Black Panthers speaks to American University students in Washington, DC on October 18, 1968. File / AP

Black Panther Party

The Black Panther Party was founded in 1966 by Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale and Elbert Howard. Their goal was to combat police brutality and promote self-sufficiency in the black community. Members, often dressed in black and berets, carried out armed patrols, but also organized the distribution of goods to residents in need. Carrying guns in public was legal in California, but in 1967, largely because of the perceived threat posed by the panthers, lawmakers passed the Mulford Act, which made open carrying loaded guns illegal.

The Black Panther logo, originally designed by a white SNCC member to represent Alabama’s Lowndes County Freedom Party, was soon adopted by the Californian militant organization because, according to Newton, “the black panther doesn’t strike first, but when the attacker hits strikes first, then he will attack. “

Initiative for equal justice

EJI was founded in 1989 to “provide legal representation to those who have been unlawfully convicted, wrongly convicted, or abused in state prisons and prisons,” it says on its website.

EJI founder Bryan Stevenson has discussed many cases, including some in the Supreme Court, to reform child sentencing laws and save people on death row. He is the author of Just Mercy. Stevenson led the organization’s efforts to erect the National Memorial for Peace and Justice near Montgomery, Ala., Which was remembered for more than 4,400 black lynch victims. EJI also created the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Imprisonment. It shares the history of the domestic slave trade, racial terrorism, Jim Crow South, and the country’s vast prison system.

NAN Rivers speak.jpg (copy)

Rev. Nelson Rivers III, with the National Action Network, gathered with members of the NAACP and several lawmakers in Marion Square to demand the immediate removal of the John C. Calhoun Memorial in Charleston on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. The state was later removed. File / Grace Beahm Alford / Staff

National Action Network

NAN, which has a chapter in the US, was founded in 1991 by Rev. Al Sharpton. It promotes a modern civil rights agenda that focuses on criminal justice reform and police accountability, victim support, voting rights, corporate responsibility, access to digital platforms and development of youth leadership.

It is represented in South Carolina by Rev. Nelson Rivers III, pastor of the Charity Missionary Baptist Church.

Injury repair company

Repairers of the Breach founder, Rev. William Barber (second from right), marches with members of the ward on Monday, January 13, 2020, with the North Charleston Poor’s Campaign to Cherokee Place Untied Methodist Church. File / Gavin McIntyre / Staff

Injury repair company

Repairers of the Breach, founded in 2015 by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, advocates a “moral revolution” that places social justice at the heart of American life. Barber calls on his Christian faith to stand up for fairness, justice and respect for all.

In 2017, Repairers of the Breach joined the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice. the popular education project; and many other partners to launch the Campaign for the Poor: A National Call to Revive Morality. The Campaign of the Poor is a result of the Barber’s Morale Movement on Mondays and an extension of the king’s unfinished work. It is a grassroots effort “to end systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, environmental degradation and other injustices”.

Comments are closed.