The Niagara Movement was Du Bois's first attempt to form a civil rights organization. This was the first substantial Black-organized protest movement of the twentieth century. It led to the founding of the NAACP in 1909.
The first meeting convened in 1905 on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls in Fort Erie, where the Four Great Lakes - Michigan, Huron, Superior, and Erie - empty into the Niagara River.
Of the wondrous Niagara Falls, Du Bois wrote: Upon the awful mystery of that inner, deeper, wilder fall no human eye may look. Its frightened bloodless face is veiled. Vast sheets of mist roll up and with white hands screen this sanctuary of Almighty God, while this, the pale waters churning and foaming shines His shadow below in silent rainbows.
W.E.B. Du Bois , letter to daughter, Yolande Du Bois, 1911
The second meeting of the Niagara Movement convened in 1906 at Harper's Ferry, at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers and the site of abolitionist John Brown's raid in 1859 to end slavery.
We would vote; with the right to vote goes everything.
We want discrimination in public accommodation to cease.
We claim the right of freemen to walk, talk, and be with them that wish to be with us.
We want the law enforced against rich as well as poor; against
capitalist as well as laborer; against white as well as black.
We want our children educated. Either the United States will destroy 8ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.
W.E.B. Du Bois, "Address to the Nation", 1906