National Negro Committee

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The National Negro Committee (formed: New York City, May 31 and June 1, 1909 - ceased: New York City, May 12, 1910) was composed of a group of activists, in order to address the social, economic, and political rights of African-Americans. The Committee was the precursor to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.


On September 3, 1908, Mary White Ovington read an article written by socialist William English Walling entitled "Race War in the North" in The Independent. Walling described a massive race riot directed at black residents in the hometown of Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois that led to seven deaths, 40 homes and 24 businesses destroyed, and 107 indictments against rioters. Walling ended the article by calling for a powerful body of citizens to come to aid blacks. Ovington responded to the article by writing Walling and meeting at his apartment in New York City along with social worker Dr. Henry Moskowitz.

The group decided to launch a campaign by issuing a "call" for a national conference on the civil and political rights of African-Americans on the centennial of Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, 1909. Many responded to the “call” that eventually led to the formation of the National Negro Committee that held its first meeting in New York on May 31 and June 1, 1909.

By May 1910, the National Negro Committee and attendants, at its second conference, organized a permanent body known as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

National Negro Committee Membership on June 1, 1909[edit]

Rev. Walter Henderson Brooks, John Dewey, Paul Kennaday, Jacob W. Mack, M. D. Maclean, Dr. Henry Moskowitz, John Elmer Milholland, Leonora O'Reilly, Charles Edward Russell, Edwin R. A. Seligman, Rev. Joseph Silverman, Oswald G. Villard, Lillian D. Wald, William English Walling, Bishop Alexander Walters, Dr. Stephen S. Wise, Mary W. Ovington, Dr. Owen Meredith Waller, Rev. John Haynes Holmes, William Lewis Bulkley, Maria Baldwin, Archibald H. Grimke, Albert E. Pillsbury, Moorfield Storey, Charles Franklin Thwing, William S. Scarborough, Jane Addams, Ida Wells-Barnett, Dr. Charles Edward Bentley, Celia Parker Woolley, Dr. William Albert Sinclair, Susan Wharton, Richard Robert Wright, Lafayette Mckeen Hershaw, Judge Wendell Philips Stafford, Mary Church Terrell, Rev. John Milton Waldron, W. E. B. Du Bois, Leslie Pinckney Hill