National Negro Congress
(NNC)
   Concern about the situation of African Americans during the Great Depression led to a conference on “the economic status of the Negro” in 1935. Among those involved were Ralph Bunche, A. Philip Randolph, Alain Locke, and James Ford of the Communist Party of the United States of America. Following the meeting, some 800 delegates gathered in Chicago in 1936 to establish the NNC, a body representing approximately 600 separate organizations committed to campaigning nationally for African Americans primarily on economic issues, with Randolph as president. While the NNC lobbied in Washington, D.C., against racial discrimination in the New Deal, it campaigned at the local level in support of voter registration in Baltimore and in efforts to secure greater employment in Harlem and Chicago. It also fought to increase unionization of black workers. However, it collapsed in 1940 with the withdrawal of communist support, although the movement officially existed until 1948. Experience with the NNC shaped Randolph’s thinking when planning the March on Washington in 1941 and the decision to exclude white participants.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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