NAACP Jefferson County
West Virginia

"The war we have to wage today has only one goal
 and that is to make the world safe for diversity."

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Early History of the JC NAACP

The Jefferson County Branch of the NAACP  was organized and chartered in June 1946.   To the best of anyone’s   knowledge , this is the first time a civil rights group had been organized in Jefferson County, even though the second meeting of the Niagara Movement was held at Storer College in Harpers Ferry in 1906.

Charter Members

Among the charter members were: Rev. Marcus Wood, Rev. Elmer Dyson, Professor E.  M.  Dandridge, Mr. Ed Roper, Mrs. Ollie Tolbert, Mrs. Mary A .D.  Taylor,  Mrs. Virginia Green, and Rev. R.E.Gordon.


The first Branch president was Professor E.M.Dandridge, science teacher at Page Jackson High School and later the school principal. Rev. Marcus Wood, pastor of Wainwright Baptist Church was vice president.  Presidents who followed were Rev. Wood and Rev. Dyson.

Branch Desegregation Activities

The Branch was successful in getting the Jefferson County Circuit Court to put Blacks on the petit and grand juries. It was also successful in getting interstate  buses desegregated. The local branch, in cooperation with the State Conference of the NAACP, was actively involved in the 1948 incident where a Black couple from Philadelphia were forcefully ejected from a N&W passenger train near Shenandoah Junction and the husband killed in cold blood by a Jefferson County Constable, John Brown. The branch had to borrow $50.00 from the Martinsburg NAACP branch to help bring in attorney and State president T.G.Nutter to the County. The Nutter investigation was going well until the widow decided to obtain another attorney and then dropped  her suit against the railroad. The community felt the shooting was unjustified and was very disappointed that the widow dropped the suit. The facts of the killing still have not been resolved.


In 1950, following the shooting incident , the Branch became inactive. In the period between 1950 and 1963, the Jefferson County Civic League was organized and continued working on desegregation efforts and obtaining equal opportunities for Blacks.  In October 1963, The Jefferson County NAACP was rechartered following a public mass meeting at the Zion Baptist Church in Charles Town. Bishop Eugene Baltimore, pastor of King Apostle Church in Ranson was elected president and Lester Taylor of Harpers Ferry , vice-president.

The Struggle continues.......


NAACP Mission Statement

The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate  racial hatred and racial discrimination


The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination.


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