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The Washington Post via Getty Images

Historians tell us that in this 50th anniversary year of a brave band of young civil rights disciples who ushered in a due season of justice not only across the American South, but also into the uttermost parts of this world. It was no ordinary time. There are people who remember those times, know this time, and will understand that it was not an ordinary time then, it is not an ordinary time now.

In this season between anniversaries from Brown v. Board of Education to Freedom Summer to the Civil Rights Act, there are those who pose a rather uncomfortable and unsettling question. They ask if the NAACP is relevant. Though the question is wearisome not worrisome, it must be answered. As important as the question is to many of our critics, and even to some of our supporters, I want to answer this question — but not for the critics.

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