Beneath the blanket of whiteness that covered the Bay Area, African Americans struggled constantly to forge strong organizations that would help them build and protect their communities in the face of great odds and fierce white opposition. Black migrants, in particular, were aware of the importance of strong social bonds to unite them in common cause, and they relied upon the well-established mores that had protected African Americans in the Jim Crow South for centuries. On the civil rights front, the oldest and most powerful black organization in the San Francisco Bay Area was the West Coast Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The failure of the NAACP and other moderate civil rights groups to end employment discrimination, to solve the problems of housing and school segregation, and to curb police brutality allowed an increasingly vocal minority of black militants to be heard.