A Special Appeal To The
Religious, Fraternal and Civic
Leaders of Florida
We have been working earnestly during the past few months, trying to help spread the spirit of the NAACP over the state of Florida. One year ago there were 61 branches of the NAACP in our state. Today Florida has 78 branches of this great organization scattered from Key West to Pensacola. Our success in this work has been due largely to the splendid co-operation that some of you have given, and for this we wish to express our appreciation.
Whenever we go into a community in an effort to arouse interest in the NAACP, we always seek your support. We usually go to the ministers first; because they are the recognized leaders of our people, and we feel that their blessing should be on any movement that tends to advance the cause of colored people. We hold most of our meetings in churches, because we fully realize that the NAACP is rendering a Christian service to our people.
Two thousand years ago Christ went from place to place on this earth, relieving human suffering and teaching a doctrine of love and fair play. Today the NAACP is doing a similar work. Just think of the many helpless, innocent Negroes whose lives have been saved by the legal machinery of the NAACP. Just think how many innocent Negroes have been saved from long prison terms through our fight to secure justice in the courts. Do you remember the four Pompano boys who were saved from the electric chair a few years ago? Do you remember Simon Peter Taylor of Tampa? Do you remember how the Orlando Branch saved the lives of a Negro couple who had to kill a white man in self-defense back in 1943? Do you remember the Columbia, Tennessee, cases? And just three weeks ago the War Department reported that efforts of the NAACP Legal Staff had saved another condemned Negro soldier from being hanged.
Thus for 38 years the NAACP has preached a gospel of justice and equal opportunities for all mankind, without regard to race, creed, or color. This is just a practical application of the Golden Rule proclaimed by Christ: "As ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them".
This year the NAACP is trying to register a million members to help support its noble work. Florida's goal for 1947 is 25,000 members. Therefore, we need to get nearly 19,000 members by December 31 in order to reach our quota for this year. We earnestly solicit your support in our fall membership drive. Please urge the members of your organization to join the NAACP.
We wish to designate November as a special "NAACP Month" in Florida. We ask every minister to take a little time at each service during November to tell his congregation about the good work of the NAACP. We also ask each pastor to appoint a worker in his church to collect NAACP memberships during November. These may be turned over to the local branches. (If there is not a branch in your community, please send your memberships to the executive secretary in Mims). We ask the heads of our religious, fraternal and civic organizations to send special messages to your subordinate units, urging their support of the NAACP membership drive. If you will give us space on program during your conferences, associations, conventions, etc., we shall be glad to send representatives to speak to the people.
It is so easy to become a member of the NAACP. You may join for the small fee of $1.00. However, many people are so anxious to help carry the work on that they take out memberships for $2.00, $2.50, $5.00, $10.00, $25.00, and even $500.00. It might be interesting to note that Dr. D. Y. Jamison, president of the National Baptist Convention, recently took out a $500.00 Life Membership in the NAACP. Young people under 21 years of age may take out Youth Memberships for $ .50 per year. There is a type of membership to fit everybody's pocketbook.
We cannot afford to let Florida fall behind other southern states in this effort. Therefore, let us sacrifice a little time and energy. Let us put our combined strength behind this drive to secure Florida's quota for the support of the organization that is fighting so hard to secure a fuller measure of justice for our race.
Harry T. Moore
Harry T. Moore, Executive Secretary
Florida State Conference, NAACP
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