NAACP Reorganizes, 1973
NAACP Reorganizes and Seeks Members
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has had a long and honorable history in Allegany County. In the early 1970's, possibly around 1973 and after some years of inactivity, efforts to resurrect the Allegany County branch of the NAACP were initiated by John "Perkey" Yates, Frank Yates, Juanita Cage Lewis, Sam Walker, and Jon Loff.
This newspaper photograph from the January 22, 1975 issue of the Cumberland Evening Times depicts local citizens at a planning session working toward the reorganization and registration of fifty paid members to formally establish the local NAACP Chapter. Meeting at the Allegany Community College Student Center are, seated left to right, Juanita Cage, Coordinator, and Woody Gordon. Standing, left to right, are Eugene Frazier, Faye Cole, and Leroy Peck. Absent when the photograph was taken were Sam Walker and Kenneth Moten, Hagerstown NAACP president. Walter Black, President of the Maryland NAACP was also in attendance.
An earlier accompanying newspaper article indicated that a threshold of fifty members needed to be reached before Sunday when the local group was to meet with the state NAACP president, Walter Black, to discuss the local chapter. Upon its successful reorganization the Allegany County branch of the NAACP went on to integrate several local organizations including the American Legion.
Photograph: The Cumberland News
Text: Information and text material from Juanita Cage Lewis and Jon Loff. Additional information acquired in October 2015 from the "Remembering Carver" Facebook page (it was initially thought the photo was from 1973 or 1974.)
There appears to be some ambiguity as to the year a local Cumberland Chapter of the NAACP was established. Based upon information supplied by the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress and pertaining to Martin Erwin, there was an NAACP membership here in 1932. In researching the book, Hidden Stories, Discovered Voices: A History of African Americans in Cumberland, Maryland, high school students note a 1943 newspaper article giving the date as 1938. One possibility might be that 1938 was the year it was officially founded as part of the national organization.
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008