The NAACP was founded on February 12, 1909, in New York City, NY 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.
“Lifting As We Climb”
NAACP-Providence: Looking to Reactive Providence Youth Council
-A Letter of Support From President Gerard C. Catala to National Advisor
Gerard C. Catala
Michael Curry, Esq.,
Dear Mr. Michael Curry Esq.,
I hope this correspondence finds you well. I’m writing in response to the New England Area Conference’s call to action.
At a time in our nation’s history where our youth prudently demonstrate a true and genuine interest in academics, civil & social justice, leadership, and attaining political power, and whereas the NAACP-Providence Branch has adopted as a 2023 Unit theme, “Lifting as we climb” (a motto coined by one of our most honorable founders,-Mary Church Tyrell), our Executive Committee, along with local community leaders, recognize the importance of ushering the trajectory of our future leaders.
As President of NAACP-Providence Branch, having heard the call of the people, weighing it against any concerns, and implementing fair and honorable discernment, I find the need to reestablish our Providence Youth Council not only to be of great interest to our youth and the community but, I find it “crucially essential” to our posterity. Therefore, I wholly support the reactivation of Providence’s Youth Council 2891-B and ask for the support of both the National Association and the New England Arena Conference.
Having reached the requisite number of Youth & College members to reactivate our Youth Council, NAACP Providence 2312-B is excited to submit our application to reactivate 2891-B. We aim to cultivate the minds and lend support in any way we can. Collectively, we understand, “It’s on us” to guide our successors, build them up and ready them to bear the burden of the torch. We build bridges for them to share their unique perspective and continue the legacy of advocating for Black lives.
Gerard C. Catala, President
Election Procedures Committee, Chair
New England Area Conference