The NAACP was founded on February 12, 1909, in New York City by a multiracial
group of activists, who answered the call in response to increasing violence
against black people in all parts of the country. Few Americans today understand
that in the early years of the twentieth century in America, black citizens
did not enjoy the assurance of police protection from physical assault
or mob violence.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is
a non-profit organization established with the objective of insuring the
political, educational, social, and economic equality of minority groups.
The NAACP has as its mission the goal of eliminating race prejudice and
removing all barriers of racial discrimination through advocacy, the electoral
process, lobbying, litigation, organization, and protest
With a population of 224,326, Providence was, in 1910, the 21st largest
city in the United States. Immigration from Europe, Canada, and the southern
states had helped swell the population by nearly 50,000 from the 1900 Census.
The city's citizens were cramped in mostly wooden housings amid numerous
jewelry, cotton and woolen mills on 17.7 square miles of land at the head
of Narragansett Bay.
Negroes, referred to more commonly as "Coloreds" and less commonly
as "Blacks," counted as 5,247 of the city's total population. Due primarily
to under-counting and the movement of people, it is estimated that the
actual number of Negroes living in Providence at that time may have been
closer to 6,000, less than 3% of the city's total population. Two-thirds
of that number indicated they were born in Rhode Island while the remaining
third had migrated to Providence from the Southern states, primarily Maryland
and Virginia, with many claiming they moved to escape segregation and "Jim
Crow" laws in the South.