About the NAACP
Since its inception, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was poised for a long, tumultuous and rewarding history. Although it may be possible to chronicle the challenging and harrowing legacy of the NAACP, the real story of the nation’s most significant civil rights organization lies in the hearts and minds of the people who would not stand still while the rights of some of America’s darker citizens were denied.
From the ballot box to the classroom, dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders forged this great organization and maintained its status as a champion of social justice. They fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. The legacy of those pioneers such as W.E.B DuBois, Thurgood Marshall and Roy Wilkens, and the hundreds of thousands of nameless faces who worked tirelessly, can not and must not be forgotten.
The history of the NAACP, is one of blood, sweat and tears. From bold investigations of mob brutality, protests of mass murders, segregation and discrimination, to testimony before congressional committees on the vicious tactics used to bar African Americans from the ballot box, it was the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society. While much of its history is chronicled in books, articles, pamphlets and magazines, the true movement lies in the faces—black, white, yellow, red, and brown—united to awaken the conscientiousness of a people, and a nation. This is the legacy of the NAACP!
Fighting for Democracy
The NAACP, along with our half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States, are frontline advocates committed to raising awareness for political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens in the electoral process. With approximately 2,000 adult branches, youth councils, and college chapters in 49 states, 5 countries and the District of Columbia, the NAACP is actively engaged in increasing the African American responsiveness of citizens to be fully engaged in the democratic process.
In recent years, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, has made great strides forward to advance its mission to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. During these years, the association has helped abolish the death penalty in New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut and Maryland; rolled back discriminatory felony disenfranchisement laws in Delaware and Virginia; registered 374,553 new voters and mobilized 1.2 million citizens to the ballot box for the 2012 election; created a multistate financial education and advocacy program; helped increase graduation standards for NCAA athletes; played a pivotal role in downsizing the penal system in Texas and Georgia; trained black churches to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic; and helped outlaw New York City’s stop-and-frisk racial profiling program.
More About National NAACP
Long Beach Branch History
Long Beach Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in 1940 by Ernest McBride and three other community activists. The NAACP launched efforts for hiring African American police officers and ending discrimination in employment and housing. In 1948, Paul Robeson, the star athlete, actor, and opera singer who was on the cutting edge of the infant civil rights movement attended a NAACP fundraiser in Long Beach. Ernest McBride, the resident historian of Long Beach’s African American community, is still active in the NAACP.
Since the Long Beach Branch was chartered, many policies and practices have been changed, in addition to a multitude of issues and cases have been fought and won. African Americans were effectively barred from the Long Beach area’s post-war housing boom by discriminatory sales practices and deed restrictions on new homes in Lakewood, Los Altos, and Bixby Knolls. Defense workers and veterans with GI Bill benefits were drawn to the West Side of Long Beach, which featured many homes that had deed restrictions. The NAACP worked to get housing deed restrictions removed. Another major effort of the Long Beach NAACP was to get African Americans hired on to the Long Beach police force. This became a reality in 1950, when several black males were hired. Two well known men from the group are Benny Roan, who was assigned to a downtown beat, and Charles B. Ussery, who in 1979 became the first African American Police Chief in the city of Long Beach. The branch is instrumental in causing change in the areas of education, economic development, and labor industry. On a daily basis, civil rights violations are investigated and resolved.
The Long Beach NAACP’s task force report regarding the use of force training in Long Beach Police Department has caused significant changes. Many recommendations from the task force were accepted and fully implemented. The branch continues to monitor and review the city’s Diversity Compliance, and Equal Opportunity Project guidelines. These guidelines include hiring, training, and awarding contracts to women, people of color, and people with disabilities.
The Long Beach Branch NAACP has developed many education and youth programs. The branch’s award winning Community Impact Program promotes academic excellence, social responsibility, leadership, and community service.
2019-2020 Long Beach Branch NAACP Officers & Executive Committee Members
- Naomi Rainey-Pierson, President
- Davian Freeman, 1st Vice President
- Antonio Gaskin, 2nd Vice President
- Jesse Johnson, 3rd Vice President
- Marie Treadwell, Secretary
- Trevon Williams, Treasurer
- Executive Committee Members: Dr. Charles D. Smith ; Coreen Correa, RN PHN ; Dr. Kevin A. Johnson ; Curglin Robertson ; Mary Carhee ; Thomas Le ; William Ward ; Gloria Thomas, RN ; Dr. John Hamilton ; Natalie Laguna, Esq. ; Jason McCarthy ; Paula Hart ; Damon Cagnolatti ; Thomas Jones ; Melissa Morgan ; Elizabeth Labrador ; Monte Beard; Shivon Ozinga