Niagara Movement Declaration of Principles

(1905)

Impact

Much like its audience, the impact of the Declaration of Principles grew over time. Initially, the influence of the Niagara Movement and its Declaration of Principles was limited. Membership never exceeded about four hundred, and the dream of a vibrant organization with chapters nationwide was never realized. Feuding leadership and the failure to secure adequate funding doomed the organization, and membership and attendance at its annual meeting began to decline. The Niagara Movement shut down following its 1909 meeting. During its short life the declaration accomplished one thing: It defined the terms of the Du Bois–Washington debate. As the writer and civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson noted, the animosity between these two factions reached an intensity that is difficult to comprehend today.

The principal impact of the document followed the demise of the Niagara Movement, when it essentially set the agenda of the NAACP. The Declaration of Principle's focus on...

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W. E. B. Du Bois (Library of Congress)

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