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Title: The Los Angeles NAACP, 1914-1949
Author: Watson, Jonathan Leslie.
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis is an examination of the development of the Los Angeles branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) during the first half the twentieth century. It charts the progress of the branch from its founding in 1914, to the departure of its fifth president in 1949. The pwpose of this thesis is to re-evaluate the role of the Los Angeles NAACP within two contexts: the history of twentieth century black Los Angeles and the history of the NAACP. In the former, the branch has long been considered a force of moderate conservatism within the black community, in the latter, the role of branches has been viewed as an issue of minor importance in charting the development of the organisation. By focussing on the branch, this thesis challenges these constructions. In the local context, it argues that the Los Angeles NAACP was less conservative and more pro-active than historians of black Los Angeles have given it credit for. Further, the history of the branch demonstrates a continuity of activism and protest in the city unmatched by any of its rivals. Within the context of the NAACP, the history of the branch helps construct a better understanding of how the organisation worked as a national network; it charts how the local branch responded to national policy, but also how the concerns and character of black Los Angeles framed the branch's activism and conception of itself within the national organisation. The thesis is divided into five chapters: the first examines the foundation of the branch; chapter two explores the impact of the ''New Negro" philosophy on branch activism in the 1920s; the third chapter details the branch's response to the Great Depression; chapter four charts the response of the branch to the challenges brought by the Second World War and chapter five explores the divisive conflict over leadership and communism that nearly destroyed the branch in 1948 and 1949
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available