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100 Years Ago

Black History
Civil War
Gold Rush
Law and Order


The NAACP is a civil rights organization in the U.S. that works to end discriminationagainst blacks and other minority groups. It was founded in 1909 by 60 black and white individuals, and, in 1910, it beganaacplogo.gif (3485 bytes)n to publish a magazine, "Crisis". The publication featured blacks who had achieved prominence and success in the arts, business, and other fields.

During the first 30 years of its existence, the association fought against unjust legal penalties, job discrimination, violence, and for the passage and enforcement of anti-lynching laws. During World War II (1939-1945) it focused on achieving equal rights for blacks in the military, and more job opportunities for black civilians.

After the war, the association renewed its long struggle against the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that upheld a policy of "separate but equal" public facilities for blacks and whites. The decision provided the basis for official segregation mandates that continued into the second half of the 20th century.

Some of the NAACP’s successes include: Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 (protects the right to vote), Civil Rights Act of 1964 (embraced equal opportunity employment), and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (protects voter registration). In successive years, the association has worked to strengthen these acts and reach a variety of educational goals for its young people. The group seeks to reduce the number of students who drop out of school, encouraging and rewarding academic, scientific, and artistic excellence among black students.

The NAACP’s income for its multitude of activities comes from membership fees paid by its more than 400,000 members, approximately 700 youth councils, and from private donations. Its headquarters are in Baltimore, Maryland, and its legislative bureau is in Washington, D.C.

In the early 1960s, Frank O’Leary, a Monarch executive, began to explore the possibility of organizing a local chapter of the NAACP. Determined to succeed, he consulted with area residents (blacks and whites), analyzing support and forming a charter committee. The Sidney branch chapter of the NAACP became a reality in 1965 with CarlKing serving as its first president. James H. Daniel of Sidney is its current president.

After soliciting the 50 NAACP members that were required, an election was held. The foundingofficers, in addition to King, were Rufus Sims, Harrison Brown, James Daniel, and Lucille King. The organization’s initial mission was an attack on workplace discrimination that existed within some Shelby County industries which paralleled the subtlehiring practices evident throughout the country during this time period. Legal actions were taken and some progress secured. Unfortunately, due to a lack of membership renewals, the group relinquished its charter.

In 1971, the chapter was reorganized and its boundaries were extended to cover the entire counties of Shelby, Miami, and Logan, The resurgent group was renamed the Ohio Tri-County NAACP, and to its struggle against discrimination in hiring, were added court room and unfair housing practices.

The organization’s goals primarily parallel those of the national NAACP, with local emphasis in the area of school academics, voter education/registration, and equal opportunity/employment.

The James P. Humphrey Sidney-Shelby County Black Achievers’ Scholarship Committee wasorganized January 29, 1987, and was composed of humphreyscholarship.gif (21276 bytes)Dorothy A. Franklin, Chairman; Virginia Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer;James P. Humphrey, James Daniel, Rev. Claudie Johnson, Dale Locker, Sr., and Kenneth Ruth. This committee was charged with theresponsibility of administering a scholarship program established by the community. The funds are awarded in recognition of Humphrey’s commitment to excellence in education, black history, community service (he was Sidney’s first black mayor), and his deep dedication to religious beliefs. Black Achiever awards are also given to adults who are dedicated to improving the "quality of life" in their communities.

The Frank O’Leary Award was established to preserve the memory of the man responsible for the group’s inception, and his relentless pledge to equality for all citizens. The award is given to those white individuals, who in the spirit of Frank O’Leary, have shown excellent leadership in the area of vocational opportunity and equal treatment. The prestigious award has been presented on three occasions to the following recipients: Matthew Diggs (Copeland executive); Richard Pope (Stolle executive); and Dale Lochard (Stolle Manager).

All funding for the local chapter’s programs is derived from membership fees and private donations.

'Black History' segment written in June, 1998 by David Lodge


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