A 1908 race riot in Springfield, Massachusetts, reported by liberal New York journalist W.E. Walling inspired him to help found a national organization to speak out on behalf of equality for African-Americans.
After a meeting with other concerned citizens in his apartment, including social worker Mary W. Ovington, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was organized in 1909.
Its only black officer was W.E.B. Du Bois, who served as the first editor of its magazine, the Crisis.