MISSISSIPPI NAACP HISTORY
The first branch in Mississippi was chartered in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1918 and re-charted on April 8, 1940. In 1945, members of branches from across the state came together to charter the Mississippi State Conference of Branches to coordinate the efforts of local branches and to carry out the mission and vision of the national organization statewide. The Mississippi State Conference was on the forefront of all the major battles of the civil rights movement in Mississippi during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s through and collaborating with other civil rights organizations to organize demonstrations, protests, selective buying campaigns, sit-ins, marches and legal action, all aimed at securing equal rights under the law for ALL citizens of the state.
Since it’s founding, the State Conference has been led by some notable leaders including:
- Aaron E. Henry, State Conference President for 33 years and perhaps the chief architect of integration in Mississippi;
- Medgar Evers, the civil rights martyr, who served as executive director and led voter registration campaigns;
- Winston Hudson, who served as a state vice president and advocated for Head Start programs and rural heath clinics;
- C.C. Bryant who served as a state vice president for many years and assisted students in the McComb area with establishing the first freedom school;
- Dr. Gilbert Mason of Biloxi who forced the integration of the Biloxi Breach.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Fred Banks is currently the longest serving member of the National NAACP Board of Directors and serves as a distinguished member of the executive committee.
Today the Mississippi State Conference consists of 112 units, which include branches, college chapters, and youth councils. We have a revolving membership of over 11,000 members across the state and at least 1 member in 74 of the 82 counties in Mississippi.