A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH

IN A DRAMATIC VICTORY, THE WIDOW OF A CIVIL RIGHTS MARTYR TAKES THE HELM OF THE SCANDAL-PLAGUED N.A.A.C.P.

In its 86 years as the nation's premier civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has faced snarling police dogs, cross-burning Ku Klux Klansmen and murderous assaults on its members. But none of these posed as dangerous a threat to the N-Double-A's continued survival as the group's own recent leadership. Under the feckless sway of William F. Gibson, an inarticulate but wily South Carolina dentist who has chaired the group since 1985, the organization has sunk into near bankruptcy--both financially and intellectually. Says Michael Meyers, a former n.a.a.c.p. staff member who now leads the New York...

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