Boston — The NAACP intends to be the cutting edge of the civil rights movement in the 1980s, according to executive director Benjamin L. Hooks. The association is also coming youth oriented, he says.
He notes that the number of college and youth chapters have more than doubled during his two years in office.
And new and younger officials will guide the the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in its thrust, he adds.
This "fresh outlook" is symbolized by two appointments to national posts earlier this month: Thomas I. Atkins, who has been named NAACP general counsel; and Charles H. Smith who has been appointed deputy executive director of the NAACP.
Mr. Atkins promises "nothing new" immediately. The NAACP will continue to utilize its legal arm as its chief weapon. But he suggests that emphasis will shift from education to economics.
The return of young white people to the cities is a plus, says Mr. Atkins.
'But white resettlement to the inner cities -- sociologists call it gentrification -- creates problems for minorities, the elderly, and the poor," he says. "When more affluent whites move in, these underprivileged are pushed out and priced out of their communities. They become displaced persons."
The NAACP legal staff will not "tolerate" urban renewal efforts that "move and price people out of their neighborhoods," says Mr. Atkins. "We shall encourage neighborhoods to retain a healthy racial, ethnic, economic, and cultural mix."