On August 15, 1935 a group of men gathered at a Durham Tennis Club to discuss black affairs and creating a new civic organization in Durham, North Carolina. On that day, The Durham Committee on Negro Affairs was formed. These founders, Charles Clinton Spaulding, James E. Shepard, Rencher N. Harris, W.D. Hill, R.L. McDougald, J.T. Taylor and L.E. Austin were referred to as “a committee of influential Negroes”.
In 1939, the Durham Committee adopted a creed drafted by R. N. Harris. Its emphasis was to register voters, run and support candidates that they indicated would most benefit our race. This creed also vowed to work for the betterment of several initiatives in the black community which included education, health, housing and economic power.
The name of the organization was later changed to the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People.