Friday, December 10, 2010

Where Are They Now?

After spending the whole semester learning about the organizations which were formed during and assisted the Civil Rights Movement, I was curious about their activity now. I cannot recall ever hearing about any actions the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee have made recently, and only vaguely remember hearing about the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Here is where the organizations stand now:

In 1997 Martin Luther King III was voted as the director of his fathers organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Although the election was unanimous, within months King fell under criticism for idleness. He was not rising up to protest issues that typically would have been addressed by the SCLC. Under his leadership the organization remained uninvolved and uninterested in the AIDS crisis, Florida ballot recount and interacting with the President of the United States. In June of 2001 King suspended from his leadership role, but was reinstated a week later under the vow to be more active. He continued to serve as head of the SCLC until his resignation in 2004, and was replaced by Fred Shuttlesworth, who only lasted a few months. Shuttlesworth claimed that the once honorable SCLC was now corrupt and lacked moral fiber. Next came Charles Kenzie Steele, Jr, and in 2009 Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., took the role as head of the SCLC. With assistance, she is still serving.

The SNCC, formed in the 1960’s, had it’s 50th anniversary in April of this year. Stokely Carmichael took over leadership of the SNCC in 1966, and slowly transformed the organization into the foundation for the Black Power Movement. The SNCC eventually dissolved into the Black Panther Party, and much of the community equality that had been a main value of the movement was lost to male dominance of the BP Party.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has remained active since its formation in 1908. They have continued to have conflict of interest with leaders of the United States, including George W. Bush in 2004. The NAACP now has over 30,000 members, including high school and college divisions which are very active. The President and CEO of the NAACP is Benjamin Todd Jealous, who has served with Amnesty International and many other human rights organizations. They now fight for the social, economic and political equality for all minority groups, not just Blacks.

Sources:, Wikipedia,, and

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