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'"As I Journey down these Roads': Juanita Craft and the Grassroots (Re)Emergence of the NAACP in Civil Rights Movement"

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Abstract:

The Lone Star state has often identified itself as unique, distinctive, and absent from the presence of racial confusion and conflict. However, in the early twentieth century the rise of the NAACP in Texas signaled a definitive shift in the position of racial disorders within the state. Shortly after the formation of the organization and during World War I, membership in the NAACP increased significantly. Conversely, in the 1920s with the reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan, the NAACP in Texas, an organization that once heralded itself as having the largest association membership with approximately 7,000+ members, witnessed a sharp decline in branch membership and participation. The blatant and violently aggressive nature of the Klan as well as resistance by the state's political oligarchy to allow African Americans participation in the state's primary forced statewide branches to become fearfully inactive.

However, by the mid-1930s the state branches began to rejuvenate with the assistance of grassroots leaders A. Maceo Smith, Lulu White, and Juanita Craft. Craft and White became field organizers for the Texas NAACP and were instrumental in organizing 182 branches in the state. This paper seeks to explore how the internal state migration by Juanita Craft contributed positively to the reemergence of the NAACP in Texas. The urban-rural-urban migration movements within the state by Juanita Craft for more than ten years critically shaped the reactions and responses by African Americans who looked forward to the 'blood transfusion" that would invigorate the flailing NAACP branches. The movement by Craft within African American communities demonstrated agency, activity, and accomplishments because members accepted her rallying charge of "The Fight is On!" and joined the NAACP in its fight against the bastions of segregation. This paper will also illustrate how Craft's involvement with the NAACP allowed her to become more active in civil rights and desegregation battles in the state, subsequently altering the social and political nuances within the African American and white communities.
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Association:
Name: Association for the Study of African American Life and History
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http://www.asalh.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p143309_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Davis Frear, Yvonne. "'"As I Journey down these Roads': Juanita Craft and the Grassroots (Re)Emergence of the NAACP in Civil Rights Movement"" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, <Not Available>. 2013-12-16 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p143309_index.html>

APA Citation:

Davis Frear, Y. "'"As I Journey down these Roads': Juanita Craft and the Grassroots (Re)Emergence of the NAACP in Civil Rights Movement"" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History <Not Available>. 2013-12-16 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p143309_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: The Lone Star state has often identified itself as unique, distinctive, and absent from the presence of racial confusion and conflict. However, in the early twentieth century the rise of the NAACP in Texas signaled a definitive shift in the position of racial disorders within the state. Shortly after the formation of the organization and during World War I, membership in the NAACP increased significantly. Conversely, in the 1920s with the reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan, the NAACP in Texas, an organization that once heralded itself as having the largest association membership with approximately 7,000+ members, witnessed a sharp decline in branch membership and participation. The blatant and violently aggressive nature of the Klan as well as resistance by the state's political oligarchy to allow African Americans participation in the state's primary forced statewide branches to become fearfully inactive.

However, by the mid-1930s the state branches began to rejuvenate with the assistance of grassroots leaders A. Maceo Smith, Lulu White, and Juanita Craft. Craft and White became field organizers for the Texas NAACP and were instrumental in organizing 182 branches in the state. This paper seeks to explore how the internal state migration by Juanita Craft contributed positively to the reemergence of the NAACP in Texas. The urban-rural-urban migration movements within the state by Juanita Craft for more than ten years critically shaped the reactions and responses by African Americans who looked forward to the 'blood transfusion" that would invigorate the flailing NAACP branches. The movement by Craft within African American communities demonstrated agency, activity, and accomplishments because members accepted her rallying charge of "The Fight is On!" and joined the NAACP in its fight against the bastions of segregation. This paper will also illustrate how Craft's involvement with the NAACP allowed her to become more active in civil rights and desegregation battles in the state, subsequently altering the social and political nuances within the African American and white communities.

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