The NAACP is considered to have formed on February 12, 1909 in New York City when "the Call" went out, inviting all interested parties to a meeting to discuss the formation of an organization that would be an agressive watchdog for Black civil rights. Over sixty people answered "the Call," (yes, it is capitalized) which was led by such notable figures as Ida B. Wells, W. E. B. Du Bois, Henry Moscowitz, Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison Villiard, and William English Walling.

Today the NAACP has more than 2,200 branches covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and with foreign branches in Japan and Germany. Total membership exceeds 500,000. Kweisi Mfume is the President, Chief Executive Officer and official spokesperson, and the Chairman of the Board is Julian Bond.

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