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From the time of its inception in 1915, the Texas chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People fought for the rights of black residents in the Lone Star state. Even with resistance from the Ku Klux Klan, Citizen's Councils, and occasionally the Texas government, the NAACP continued to protest Jim Crow laws and put forth litigation that would heighten the status of African Americans as equal to that of white citizens.
The organization had many peaks and valleys in the 20th century, from closing chapters due to heightened violence to winning long-fought battles in courtrooms. The biggest blow to the organization was a state trial that attempted to prohibit the NAACP from operating in the state. The determined activists persevered and continue to affect change in Texas today.
The effects of Jim Crow were evident all over Mansfield, Texas, from Farr Best Movie Theater where African Americans were only allowed access to the small balcony, to the colored school, which was for all black students up until ninth grade. The high school in Mansfield was for whites only; black students were bussed to I.M. Terrell in Fort Worth. These Jim Crow laws and customs directed the daily lives of the citizens of Mansfield. Although one Mansfield resident, Floyd Moody, remembers spending the weekends playing with some of the white Mansfield students, that all changed for him after August 1956, when he and three other students, with the help of T.M. Moody, a local black leader, and L. Clifford Davis, an attorney for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), tried to desegregate Mansfield High School.