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 created in response to the Springfield Race Riot of 1908, in Springfield, Ohio. Prominent black activists and white progressives called for a national conference to discuss African American civil rights. The group of activists met in order to address the social, economic, and political rights of African-Americans. This gathering served as the processor to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People which received its name during the second meeting in May 1910. [1]


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]


  1. ^ White, Deborah (2012). Freedom On My Mind. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin. p. 463. ISBN 978-0-312-64884-8.