NAACP anniversary celebrates progress on racism, but not an end

July 17, 2009
Hollywood couldn't have scripted a better setting.
     As thousands of NAACP members streamed into New York City recently to celebrate the civil rights organization's 100th anniversary, the world around them looked dramatically different from the one the group's founders confronted in 1909.
     In his inaugural address that year, President William Howard Taft asserted the right of Southern states to use Jim Crow laws to keep blacks from voting. States shouldn't have to worry about the federal government interfering in "their domestic affairs," Taft said.
     This year, Barack Obama was sworn in as the nation's 44th - and first black - president.