This Day in Black History: Jan. 25, 1890

The National Afro-American League, a civil rights organization, was formed.

Posted: 01/25/2013 08:00 AM EST

(Photo: Wikicommons)

The National Afro-American League, widely viewed as a forerunner to the civil rights organizations of the succeeding century, was formed on Jan. 25, 1890. The organization dedicated itself to the mission of racial solidarity and self-help for African-Americans.

It was a notable civil rights group, forming nearly two decades before the formation of the NAACP in 1909. The group was founded by Timothy Thomas Fortune, a civil rights leader, journalist, educator and orator. Another important figure in the organization was Bishop Alexander Walters of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Washington, D.C. Fortune would become notable for his role as co-owner of the New York Age, which became the most widely read Black newspaper.

The organization took strong positions against discrimination, lynching and African-American disenfranchisement. It also took on many of the same issues over the span of its existence. However, due to the lack of support, the National Afro-American League stopped its operations in 1893.

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