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Our History

History of Alexandria Branch

At a mass meeting held October 10, 1933, at Alfred Street Baptist Church, in Alexandria, VA, under the auspices of the Alexandria Citizens' Association (colored), a chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was organized. Walter White of New York City, national secretary of the NAACP was the principal speaker, and conducted the organization of this new chapter. There was a large enrollment of members, most of whom paid yearly subscriptions--the remainder to be paid on or before the first meeting of the chapter on Friday, October 27. Officers elected were: Henry C. Brooks, president, J. Byron Hopkins, Jr., secretary; Leon C. Baltimore, Jr., treasurer. Henry C. Brooks is also president of the Alexandria Citizens' Association (colored). 

The mass meeting was also favored with an address by Sam S. Hollenga, manager of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Hollenga explains the meaning of the National Recovery Administration (NRA), and why all citizens of Alexandria, white and colored, should support President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his efforts to put over this NRA program. He stated further that this was his first opportunity to address the colored people who compose one-fifth of the population of the city to give a more concrete support to the programs made by the Chamber of Commerce in their efforts to make Alexandria, first a place to live and second, a bigger place to live. Mr. Hollenga stressed the necessity of a wholehearted cooperation of colored citizens with civic movements. Charles H. Houston, dean of Howard University Law School and a member of the District of Columbia Board of Education, spoke on the necessity of high school facilities for Negro children in Alexandria, and urged the citizens associated to continue their fight for equal school accommodations and other civil at are now denied them. Every speaker was well refused. Henry C. Brooks, president of the Alexandria Citizens' Association (colored) presided. J. Byron Hopkins, Jr. was master of ceremonies. The charter was received January 20, 1934 and remains as the official organ of the current Branch. 

We have been ably led by the following persons who served as Branch president: Mr. Henry Brooks, Mr. Edwin Brown, Rev. N. Howard Stanton, Mr. Robert Isaac Terrell, Mr. Clarence Cooper, Dr. F.J. Pepper, Mr. Urquhart Dixon, Major Joseph O. Kahoe, Jr., Retired, Mr. Ulysses Calhoun, Dr. Gilbert Mays, Mr. Emmitt Carlton, Jr., Esq., Mr. Direk Hargraves, Esq., Ms. Doris Spencer, Captain Everett A. Lewis, U.S. Air Force, Retired, Mr. S. Howard Woodson III, Esq., Rev. Dr. Lee A. Earl, John T. Chapman, James B. Williams, and LaDonna Sanders. Our current president, who is charged with continuing the Branch's adherence to the framework of the NAACP charter is Christopher Harris.



History of Alexandria's African American Community

Alexandria's African American history includes a vibrant free black population dating to the 18th century, one of the largest slave trading operations, and America's first Sit-Down Strike in the early days of the Civil Rights movement.

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