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Franklin D. Roosevelt to Arthur Barnett Spingarn regarding the work of the N.A.A.C.P.

Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano) (1882-1945)1940-06-14

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

President Roosevelt discusses meeting Spingarn, President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Praises the NAACP, stating "Organizations like yours are necessary safeguards in a democracy. You remind us constantly of our principles by calling our attention to our weaknesses and our deficiencies." Encourages governmental support from the African American community during World War II, stating "Negroes and all other Americans have a special stake in this struggle. The adversaries we oppose deny every common right held by the man in the street in America ... you can help your government, in the midst of our preparations for defense, to maintain the great social gains of recent years through which your government has reflected the needs of the common man. Your government has supreme confidence in the unflinching loyalty that the Negro race has shown from Boston Common to Flanders Field. Inspired by such traditions I know our Negro citizens will not hesitate to pledge their allegiance anew, in these ominous days, to the cause of human liberty." Typed on White House stationery. A 16 June 1940 stamp is crossed out in the upper right corner, and a 17 June 1940 stamp remains.

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  • Title: Franklin D. Roosevelt to Arthur Barnett Spingarn regarding the work of the N.A.A.C.P.
  • Creator: Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano) (1882-1945)
  • Date: 1940-06-14
  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Transcript: My dear Mr. Spingarn: I am glad to avail myself of the opportunity which your meeting affords to express the interest of the government of the United States in the problems you meet to consider. Organizations like yours are necessary safeguards in a democracy. You remind us constantly of our principles by calling our attention to our weaknesses and our deficiencies. Therefore, I have followed the activities of your organization over a period of years with much interest and gratification. In strictly an American way you have courageously fought for an increasing participation by Negroes in the benefits and responsbilities of the American democracy. This service of your organization in helping to strengthen democracy is needed now, more than ever. Democracy as a way of life faces today its most severe challenge, the American democracy must marshal all the strength of all its people in a unity of conviction and of purpose. Such organizations as yours bear a full measure of responsbility in helping to make this unity and this internal strengh invulnerable. Negroes and all other Americans have a special stake in this struggle. The adversaries we oppose deny every common right held by the man in the street in America ... you can help your government, in the midst of our preparations for defense, to maintain the great social gains of recent years through which your government has reflected the needs of the common man. Your government has supreme confidence in the unflinching loyalty that the Negro race has shown from Boston Common to Flanders Field. Inspired by such traditions I know our Negro citizens will not hesitate to pledge their allegiance anew, in these ominous days, to the cause of human liberty.
  • GLC Number: GLC04477p1

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