NAACP Is Becoming More Woke

The National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which was once known for being the “oldest and boldest” civil rights organization in America, has now adopted the term “woke” to its re-branding.

“Woke” has been used a slang term to describe someone who has becoming socially conscious, according to CNN.

Over the past 108 years, the NAACP has fought for the rights of the disenfranchised. But in the days of Black Lives Matter, the NAACP’s activism has been accused of being outdated and obsolete.

Recently, an NAACP advisor issued a travel advisory for the state of Missouri, which gained the organization a lot of positive attention. The advisory urged “extreme caution,” getting people to ask the important questions: Is Missouri the new Mississippi during the Jim Crow era?

According to Nimrod “Rod” Chapel Jr., the president of the NAACP Missouri state conference, the Missouri law “is worse than Jim Crow in some ways.”

The advisory that was released reported “black motorist are 75% more likely to be stopped by officers in Missouri than white drivers.”

“I don’t think we could have responsibly done anything less,” said Chapel. “We have a society in Missouri that has turned its back on morality. You cannot legalize discrimination and harassment, and they’ve done that by giving immunity to people who do it.”

According to CNN, this travel advisory seems to hint at the new direction the NAACP is taking.

Recently the A.M.E. Church, which has played an influential role in the Black community, released a statement addressing the NAACP.

“Longevity alone is not proof of relevance,” the statement read. “For the reality is that today the NAACP is smaller and less influential than it has ever been in its history.”

Traditional civil rights groups have been very critical of Black Lives Matter in the past. Some of the critiques stem from generational differences, but others stem from the origin of the organizations. For an example, traditional civil rights groups like the NAACP emerged out of Black churches, unlike Black Lives Matter.

There have also been differences in the tone of these organizations. Older civil rights groups feel that the younger groups are too aggressive.

But Chapel, the Missouri NAACP official, admires Black Lives Matter activists and sees them as potential allies rather than rivals.

“These are young folks who were concerned about their community, and they did something about it. That’s called activism. In the NAACP, there’s room for everybody, whether it’s Black Lives Matter or other people of conscience,” said Chapel.

Anthony Davis, the national coordinator for the college and youth division of the NAACP acknowledges the success of Black Lives Matter as well. Saying the movement has become more militant.

According to Davis the NAACP is has already started adjusting its outreach to the younger generations.

“We’ve done a good job branding ourselves as not only this historic civil rights group, but the youth and college division is more hip and, I hate to use this term, but, ‘woke,’ ” said Davis.

 – Contributed by Amaya Starkey

WHUR Contributor

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