Cleveland's NAACP selected Rev. Hilton Smith as its president Sunday, making him the first new leader of the nation's oldest civil rights group in 20 years.
The 66-year old replaces attorney George Forbes, who resigned in April.
Rev. Smith's appointment will allow him to lead the Cleveland chapter which consists of 1,500 members.
Founded in 1909 by W.E.B. DuBois and Ida B. Wells-Barnett to fight black lynching, the NAACP is the most recognized name in the civil rights establishment with hundreds of branches. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, campaigning for equal opportunity and conducting voter mobilization.
Its Cleveland chapter was established in 1912.