Talks honor key Boston role in black history

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The gathering of prominent black leaders and activists at Faneuil Hall a century ago was a pivotal moment in the history of the African-American civil rights movement and for Boston, but it has been largely forgotten.

W.E.B. DuBois, Boston's William Monroe Trotter, and scores of other organizers of the Niagara Movement, a civil rights organization that spawned the NAACP, met in 1907 to discuss how best to oppose segregationist laws in the United States.

Disagreements among the 800 civil rights leaders and activists from around the country widened a split between DuBois and Trotter, fractured the young Niagara Movement, and marked the start of Boston's decline as a national political and social hub for African-Americans.

Yesterday, local scholars and community leaders, including Governor Deval Patrick, launched four days of recognition and educational talks about the 1907 Boston meeting and its role in the city's history.

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