Ester Cooper, a landowner and resident of Arlington County organized the Arlington Branch of the NAACP in 1940. Dr. Herbert C. Marshall, first president of the Washington, DC Branch NAACP assisted Mrs. Cooper in founding the Arlington Branch. The first organization meeting was held in St. John Baptist Church, Arlington, VA. According to the former Branch President, William C. Butler, Sr. the first officers installed in October was as follows:
Ester I. Cooper – President
Reverend Charles Green – Vice President
Jesse L. Washington – Treasurer
Emma Mosley – Entertainment Chair
Preston H. Harris, Esquire – Legal Redress
Since Mrs. Cooper’s thirteen years of leadership (1940 – 1953), the NAACP Arlington Branch has been led by other dedicated presidents, including the following: Reverend James Browne, late 50’s; Carl Ferguson, late 50’s; Reverend Chester Murray, 60’s; Judge Thomas Monroe, 60’s; Reverend Ronald Williams, early 70’s; William C. Butler, Sr., 1975 – 1988; Robert D. McGregor, Jr., 1988 – 1996; Dr. Alfred O. Taylor, Jr., 1997 – 1998; Voncile Trotter Hines, 1998 – 2000 and Dr. Talmadge Williams, 2000 – 2008, Elmer L. H. Lowe, Sr., 2008 – 2014, Karen Nightengale 2015 – present.
In 1940, the purpose of the NAACP Arlington Branch was to eradicate racial prejudice and to eliminate racial discrimination in education, employment, housing, and civil rights. In 2015, the NAACP is still fighting for that same purpose. If you know our struggle has not ended, then we need your help. Your membership and support for the programs of the NAACP Arlington Branch will help realize our dream of true equality.
During the early years “People of Color” were largely of African American descent. Today the term “People of Color” would exclusively describe a new deprivation that identified our Latin, Asian, Native American, Gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters.
Credit is given to the following resources for information included above: Community Archives, The Paper of William C. Butler, Sr., Arlington County Department of Libraries, and The Virginia Room.