NAACP Convention Photograph Collection, MS 152
Scope and Content
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Convention Collection contains primarily amateur black and white photographs taken by an unknown attendee — most likely a delegate — who was present at the 40th annual NAACP Convention held in Los Angeles from July 12-17, 1949. There are also a few professionally taken group photos as well.
Approximately 500 delegates from over 40 states were in attendance. Post-World War II Los Angeles was an up and coming city, experiencing continued economic and population growth as well as a rise in its national influence. Along with international, national and local leaders, the attendees advocated for the advancement of civil rights in the United States, particularly working on behalf of the rights of African- Americans. Founded in 1909, the NAACP is America's oldest civil rights organization with a longstanding mission "to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination."
The opening session took place at the Second Baptist Church, 2412 Griffith Ave., in South Central Los Angeles. This building was designed by Norman F. Marsh in association with black architect Paul R. Williams and the church has figured prominently in the African-American civil rights movement. The closing ceremony of the conference was held in the Hollywood Bowl and included a musical program.
Keynote speakers during the 5-day convention included United Nations statesman Dr. Ralph Bunche; Roy Wilkins, secretary of the NAACP; actor, writer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson; and Virgin Islands Gov. William H. Hastie.
In addition to images of the official sessions of the convention, the collection includes assorted snapshots of places of interest around the Los Angeles environs including the Long Beach skyline and the beachside Cyclone Racer roller coaster ride; the Lincoln Theatre, located on South Central Avenue, designed by architect John Paxton Perrine and which was at one time a Negro movie house; street shots of Los Angeles neighborhoods, including South Central.
The provenance, or original organization, of the papers has been preserved for the most part.
The (NAACP) Convention Photograph Collection, July 1949 is divided into one series: Photographs, July 1949
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Convention Collection, July 1949, is housed in 1 box.
Berger, Robert. Sacred Spaces: Historic Houses of Worship in the City of Angels. Glendale, CA: Balcony Press, 2003.
"Medal Presented Bunche At Rally; 'Bell Has Tolled for Colonial Rule,' U.N. Mediator Tells NAACP Convention." Los Angeles Times 18 Jul 1949: A-1.
Mullio, Cara and Jennifer M. Volland. Long Beach Architecture: the Unexpected Metropolis. Santa Monica, CA: Hennessey & Ingalls, 2004.
"NAACP Secretary Puts Nation First; Speaker Differs With Paul Robeson Views in Citing Negro Demands for Civil Rights." Los Angeles Times 13 Jul 1949: 22.
"NAACP Will Open Convention in City Today." Los Angeles Times 12 Jul 1949: 2.
"New Lincoln Theater will Open Friday." Los Angeles Times 5 Oct. 1927: A-9.
Wade, Wally. "'Greatest Ride' Ends a 38-Year Career." Los Angeles Times 16 Sept. 1968: 30.