The NAACP was founded on February 12, 1909, in New York City by a multiracial group of activists, who answered the call in response to increasing violence against black people in all parts of the country. Few Americans today understand that in the early years of the twentieth century in America, black citizens did not enjoy the assurance of police protection from physical assault or mob violence.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is a non-profit organization established with the objective of insuring the political, educational, social, and economic equality of minority groups. The NAACP has as its mission the goal of eliminating race prejudice and removing all barriers of racial discrimination through advocacy, the electoral process, lobbying, litigation, organization, and protest
With a population of 224,326, Providence was, in 1910, the 21st largest city in the United States. Immigration from Europe, Canada, and the southern states had helped swell the population by nearly 50,000 from the 1900 Census. The city's citizens were cramped in mostly wooden housings amid numerous jewelry, cotton and woolen mills on 17.7 square miles of land at the head of Narragansett Bay.
Negroes, referred to more commonly as "Coloreds" and less commonly as "Blacks," counted as 5,247 of the city's total population. Due primarily to under-counting and the movement of people, it is estimated that the actual number of Negroes living in Providence at that time may have been closer to 6,000, less than 3% of the city's total population. Two-thirds of that number indicated they were born in Rhode Island while the remaining third had migrated to Providence from the Southern states, primarily Maryland and Virginia, with many claiming they moved to escape segregation and "Jim Crow" laws in the South.