NAACP Week planned to celebrate 100th year

The week will include nights dedicated to love, poetry and change.

The MU chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will hold a week's worth of events starting Sunday to celebrate the national organization's 100th anniversary.

MU NAACP will start the week, with an event "The Dream Lives On: Celebrating 100 Years of African-American Values," with a feast open to the public at which the group will reflect on the organization's accomplishments for race relations over the past century.

The next night will feature a discussion of economic status among African Americans and the importance of financial responsibility, especially during the recent economic downturn.

"100 Years of Change" will be a night of discussion about the N-word and its use among African Americans and also between African Americans and people from other races. The group will have one black speaker who uses the word in conversation, one who does not and is looking for a speaker of another race who uses the word to gain an understanding of why.

Freshman LySaundra Campbell, coordinator of the "100 Years of Voice" celebration, said she expects the night to include all types of poetry from a variety of topics, including the struggle for racial harmony. Campbell said poetry allows her and others to make their own impact on racial equality.

"There are so many people who wrote through their heart to strive for racial equality," Campbell said. "I can't do what Martin Luther King Jr. did, but that really speaks to me."

Thursday, the group will host an all day event across campus called "100 years of Blood, Sweat and Tears" to recognize the struggles of the civil rights movement and the work of the NAACP.

Freshman Marcedes LeGrone, coordinator for the "100 Years of Love" night on Feb. 13 said the early Valentine's Day celebration will be a chance for members to come together and celebrate the empowerment of love in forging racial harmony.

"It's just supposed to be a social night where everyone can reflect on the love and history of the civil rights movement," LeGrone said.

LeGrone said attendees will play two games that night. In one, called the Couples Game, boyfriends and girlfriends will ask their partners questions about each other to see how much they really know. She said others will play the dating game, in which a girl asks questions of three boys on a panel to see which she likes the most.

The events finish Saturday Feb. 14 with "100 Years of Community Empowerment," a day of community service meant to show how a community effort can combine to increase the ability to bring changes, like racial equality.

All of the events will reflect on the history of the NAACP. The Baltimore-based organization was started in 1905 with a meeting of 32 African American people who met to discuss challenges facing their community, like disenfranchisement due to poll taxes in the South. Harvard scholar W.E.B DuBois hosted the meeting on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls because U.S. hotels were segregated at the time.

The group went on to fight Jim Crow laws through litigation, also fighting to pass legislation to desegregate public and professional schools.

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