We Are Done Dying: The NAACP Cultural Campaigns of the Early Twentieth Century

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Rainge-Briggs, Katie Lovenia
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Middle Tennessee State University
The NAACP Cultural Campaigns of the Early Twentieth Century is a historical consideration of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s, NAACP, use of the arts as a stage for a racially empowering counternarrative. This dissertation traces the understudied history of the NAACP's use of the arts and humanities to support campaigns advocating for African Americans. The organization’s cultural work acted as a counter-narrative to popular media, which aided in the normalization of race-based violence by presenting blacks as characters that mocked their humanity and placed whites as the ideal image of humanity. The NAACP understood that to combat oppressive policies, an attack of racist rhetoric and cultural practices must coincide. Thus, the organization supported a counternarrative that educated the public on African American history, culture, and contributions to American culture. The research will augment historiography that connected art and creativity to African American humanity and citizenship as a response to racist oppression by analyzing the NAACP's discourse and campaigns.
African American History, NAACP history, Public History, African history