Alachua County Branch - NAACP Records
Scope and Content
The Alachua County Branch – NAACP Records collection documents the local Alachua NAACP chapter’s social justice advocacy efforts between 1946 and 2020. The collection consists of news clippings about voting mobilization, education issues, the 1963 March on Washington, and growing NAACP membership; meeting minutes; event program flyers celebrating key chapter history and leaders; and notes illustrating pay discrepancies between Black and White workers or quality of education in segregated schools. Because the bulk of the collection at present is news clippings from during the Civil Rights Movement, it demonstrates the interconnectedness and importance of local organizing by each branch to the success of the overall aims of the NAACP. Partnerships with historic Alachua County churches like Mount Pleasant Methodist Church and Mount Carmel Baptist Church provide insight into the connection between the Black church and NAACP members’ civil rights organizing. Newsletters from the NAACP’s Youth Council also reveal the organization’s commitment to developing leaders across generations due to the longstanding fight for racial equality and dignity. Significantly, the University of Florida’s history is intertwined with that of the NAACP Alachua County Branch as branch and national members played a role in fighting for UF’s eventual desegregation.
- 1945 - 2020
- Turcotte, Florence (Collector, Person)
The collection is open for research.
As the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded February 12, 1909, by a multi-racial group, including W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells, Mary White Ovington, and William English Walling. Formed in the aftermath of deadly race riots occurring around the country, the NAACP sought to “eradicate caste or race prejudice among citizens of the United States” and guarantee that all people’s rights were secure under the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, which, respectively, ensured an end to slavery, upheld equal protection of the law, and gave every citizen the right to vote.
Particularly in the 1920s and 1930s, NAACP leaders and members organized around anti-lynching legislation, voter participation, fair employment, quality education, and fair treatment under the law for Black Americans using tactics like legal action, lobbying, protest, and other means. By mid-century, the NAACP played key roles in civil rights wins such as the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that desegregated schools, the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1964, and 1968, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Today, the NAACP continues its mission with more than 2,000 branches around the U.S. Each chapter attends to local and national issues by providing support and programming in areas such as youth leadership development, criminal justice reform, economic justice, voter participation, health and wellness, environmental and climate justice, work equality, and more.
The NAACP Alachua County Branch in Florida was officially chartered on June 12, 1945. At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the NAACP Alachua County Branch would hold meetings sometimes two to three times every week at old Mt. Carmel Baptist Church to inform community members about the latest ways to secure their civil liberties. High-profile Movement leaders would also drop in to speak with members as they traveled across the South.
Like it’s national organization, the Alachua County branch of the NAACP works to eradicate racial prejudice and fight for the rights of Black and other marginalized people in Alachua County and the state of Florida through various programs and collaborative events in the community. There have been eight branch presidents since the chapter’s chartering: Eugene E. Wheaton (1945-1962); Rev. Dr. T.A. Wright (1963-1978); Dr. Joyce Cosby (1979-1985); Joseph Judge (1986-1993); Hon. Charles ‘Chuck’ Chestnut, IV (1994-1996); Ruth Brown (1997-2001); Dr. Michael Bowie (2001-2010); Evelyn Foxx (2011-present).
.21 Linear Feet (1 box)
Language of Materials
Records document the local Alachua NAACP chapter’s social justice advocacy efforts between 1946 and 2020 and consists of news clippings, meeting minutes, flyers, and other documents.
The collection is arranged chronologically.
University of Florida Smathers Library Building
Most items collected by Flo Turcotte while conducting research, or attending events by the NAACP Alachua County Branch.
- A Guide to the Alachua County Branch - NAACP Records
- Finding aid created by Tiffany Pennamon
- August 2023
- Description rules
- Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is written in English.
Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository
George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America