Our History

The Waco McLennan County NAACP was organized at a time when fighting for social and political equality in Texas was a dangerous undertaking.

In Waco in 1916, seventeen-year-old Jesse Washington was publicly lynched and burned with the local city and county authorities looking on and doing nothing to prevent it.  In 1919, when NAACP National Secretary John Shillady came to Texas to help the Austin chapter in its organization, he was severely beaten by Travis County officials.  In response to Shillady’s beating, Texas governor William P. Hobby wired the NAACP to keep their “representatives and their propaganda out of” Texas. During the 1920s, chapters that had been organized were disbanded due to violence and intimidation by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and by legal authorities. 

In this perilous atmosphere in one of the most dangerous parts of Texas for African-Americans, the Waco McLennan County Chapter of the NAACP was organized in 1936.

During the eight decades since its founding, the Waco NAACP has worked to secure the social and political equality of all citizens of McLennan County.