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Civil Rights and Race Relations in America and Their Impact on the Lives of African Americans
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Thursday, November 4, 2010
70 years is a significant amount of time in America’s nearly 400-year continuing struggle for racial justice and equality before the law. In those seven decades, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) has helped change the world.
Because of LDF, no one can get away with saying that black people—or any people—have “no rights under the Constitution,” as the Supreme Court did in its 1857 Dred Scott decision.
Because of LDF, no one can say that racially discriminatory treatment is simply in the minds of those who experience it, as the majority of the justices said in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which sanctioned discrimination under the guise of “separate-but-equal.”
LDF’s mission is to use the law to expand democracy and to create a more just society. For 70 years, we have focused the attention of the nation and even the world on issues of race and inequality. LDF’s work is to make America the inclusive democracy that we must become. It is a mission set by our leaders and staff, from Charles Hamilton Houston to Thurgood Marshall to Constance Baker Motley to right now.
Download the LDF@70 PDF in its entirety at the top of the page.