The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded in 1909 to promote the social and legal position of Black Americans. The first chapter in Washington was formed in 1917. While it would eventually disband in 1925, it was reorganized in 1958 by Louis E. Waller. Since its reorganization, the Washington Branch of the NAACP has been active in challenging discrimination in the Washington area, especially in local housing, employment, and government and continues to be active today.
After being reconstituted in 1958, the Washington Branch of the NAACP grew quickly because of its leadership. Through the national upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s, the NAACP, led by the people in this photograph (right), led the fight for social justice in Washington, including securing the right of Black youth to be able to attend the City pool and fighting racially biased policing. Pictured in the photograph are Judge Henry Smith, Ed Liggins, James R. McDonald, JoAnn McDonald, Louis E. Waller, Shirley Waller, Wilhelmina Asbury, and Jack Asbury. Liggins, McDonald, Waller, and Asbury. All served as presidents of the Washington Branch of the NAACP and were instrumental in the local civil rights struggle.