Marking the NAACPs Centennial Convention

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The NAACP has gathered in New York for a six-day convention celebrating its 100-year anniversary. It’s an enormous affair with giants such as Cornel West, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and President Obama paying tribute to the accomplishments of the civil rights organization. The civil rights group was formed by a multi-racial coalition in 1909, sparked in 1908 by a deadly race riot in Springfield Illinois. Nearly a century later, Barack Obama launched his presidential campaign not far from where the riot took place. Looking at the challenges ahead and its past accomplishments we are joined by Melissa Harris-Lacewell. She is an Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University.

Read about what was life was like for black Americans in 1909.

"Every civil rights organization ultimately wants to die. Because the goal is to have full equality. And if you have full equality then your institutional purpose is no longer important."
—Melissa Harris Lacewell on the anniversary of the NAACP

The Takeaway will be covering the convention all week long. Tomorrow we continue the conversation with the artists' take on the NAACP’s legacy. We’ll be joined by musical sensation DJ Spooky and poet Elizabeth Alexander.