Document 6: Mary Talbert to James Weldon Johnson, 28 June 1922, NAACP Papers, Part 1: Meetings of the Board of Directors, Records of Annual Conferences, Major Speeches, and Special Reports, 1909-1950, Library of Congress (Microfilm, Reel 24, Frames 410-12).

Introduction

        James Weldon Johnson became the executive secretary of the NAACP in December 1920 and alongside Walter White, his assistant, Johnson was the driving force behind the NAACP campaign for the Dyer Bill.[23] Mary B. Talbert wrote this letter to Johnson just eight days after the NAACP conference which inspired the formation of the Anti-Lynching Crusaders. Talbert indicated in this letter that the initial objective of the Crusaders was to focus on ending the lynching of colored women. The following two documents restate this view, but not enough documentary material has survived to evaluate whether the gendered goal stated in this letter became the sole justification for the Crusaders' fundraising campaign. Documents 7 and 8 suggest that the prevention of lynching of both white and black women was the objective of the Crusaders, at least as stated in their publicity flyers.

Buffalo June 28- [1922]

My Dear Mr. Johnson:

       You certainly have it on me, but I am so rushed I guess I stand on my head part of the time. I really haven't the time or money to come down again so soon. But I am going to make the sacrifice and be there Monday July 10.

       I am also calling a small conference of women on July 8th. I firmly believe I can put this over--one million, but I can do it. I will enlist every secret organization in every state--and every church, including Colored Catholics. I believe it can be done. The only literature we will need will be for the 4000 speakers and workers, and the books for receipt. My plan is not to divide with any branch, but send money direct to National Office. The branch however can solicit their membership afterwards. This is to be a drive for one million women to suppress Lynching of Colored Women. I will see you July 10th.

Hastily,
M. B. Talbert

 

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