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NAACP Honors Labor Leader in Los Angeles

An impressive original photograph showing the attendees of a NAACP banquet held at the Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles on January 16, 1953. The image shows a packed ballroom with about two hundred elegantly dressed people, most of whom are looking directly at the camera. While the majority of the attendees are seated, dozens more are standing along the perimeter of the hall. 

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the prominent civil rights organization, hosted a Human Rights Banquet at the Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles, California on January 16, 1953, a moment of intense social and political change in the United States, especially concerning the fight for racial equality.

Philip Murray (1886-1952), the individual being honored at this banquet, played a significant role in the NAACP's efforts. A Scottish-born labor leader, Murray was known for his work in advocating for workers' rights and racial equality. As the president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), he was instrumental in pushing for labor rights, particularly for supporting the integration of unions. He also served as a member of the executive committee of the NAACP. In 1943 Murray advocated making the Fair Employment Practice Commission - established by executive order two years earlier - into a permanent agency to protect the employment rights of minorities. Under his leadership, the CIO condemned racial discrimination and established a committee to Abolish Racial Discrimination inside the CIO. Murray's involvement with the NAACP highlights the intersection of labor and civil rights movements during this era.

The photograph shows a diverse gathering of influential figures from the NAACP, labor leaders, and possibly prominent social activists. The setting at the Alexandria Hotel, a notable location in Los Angeles, adds to the significance of the event, suggesting a formal and prestigious atmosphere. This photograph not only documents an important event but also serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts between different organizations and leaders in the fight for human rights and racial equality in mid-20th century America.

The Bona Fide Photo Service of Los Angeles seems to have specialized in photographing large gatherings and celebrations such as the present NAACP banquet. By the 1960s the firm had become or merged with Philips' Cameras, Inc. of West Covina.


Original NAACP-related photographs documenting the organization's activities in Southern California during the 1950s are quite rare in the market.

Condition Description
Small crease at upper margin. Otherwise a very sharp fine image in remarkably nice condition. One unidentified individual indicated with ink circle.