Melissa Harris-Perry published a thought-provoking article in the New York Times this morning entitled “How to Save the N.A.A.C.P. From Irrelevance.” I like and respect Melissa Harris-Perry, but for her to dismiss the role of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and other legacy civil rights organizations by saying that “they should step to the side” is problematic. These organizations have been the foundation of the past and present civil rights movement in terms of providing a sustained platform to voice issues and to fight for justice.

Melissa Harris-Perry (AP Photo)

While the Black Lives Matter movement should be applauded and supported, there is no need to denigrate and erase legacy groups. To dismiss individuals and organizations who have been on the front lines and have been engaged in the civil rights struggle for years is beyond the pale.

Harris-Perry made some valid points in her commentary about the need for courageous leadership in the area of civil rights activism and the shortcomings of the bureaucratic dysfunction that many organizations face. There is likely a need for the NAACP to rethink and streamline their organizational structure in order to increase efficiency. Additionally, we all need to tap into the bravery of previous generations and be more courageous in our endeavors.  More…