Jim Crow Justice
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored people was the most powerful organization fighting against lynching during Jim Crow. The NAACP attempted to keep national statistics on lynchings and investigated many specific incidents. It published pamphlets such as Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States, 1889–1918 (1919) and a book-length study of the problem by future NAACP executive director Walter F. White entitled Rope and Faggot: A Biography of Judge Lynch (1929). Federal antilynching legislation remained one of the NAACP's highest priorities, a goal it came close to achieving three times, in 1922, 1937, and 1940. Although a bill seemed within grasp during the New Deal, neither Congress nor President Franklin D. Roosevelt proved willing to embrace such a measure because of the opposition of Southern Democrats. This photograph was taken at the NAACP headquarters on 69 Fifth Avenue, New York City, in 1936.