Harper's Ferry was the site of the second annual meeting of the Niagra Movement, the predecessor to the NAACP. In 1932, the NAACP attempted to place a plaque honoring Brown at a College in Harper's Ferry, but they were rebuffed. This year the NAACP honored Brown during a trip to West Virginia during their convention.
Here's the very moving speech by Julian Bond.
We are here today because this place and the martyrs who died here are inextricably tied to the NAACP and the unending struggle for freedom. There is an unbroken line leading from this place until today – a line and lineage we are come to commemorate and honor so that future generations will never forget.
John Brown’s biographer David S. Reynolds argues that no other white person, including President Lincoln, has been so widely admired among American blacks as John Brown.
One of our founders, Dr. W. E. B. DuBois wrote of Brown as "the man who of all Americans has perhaps become nearest to touching the real souls of black folk. John Brown worked not simply for black men – he worked with them; he was a companion of their daily life, knew their faults and virtues, and felt, as few white Americans have felt, the bitter tragedy of their lot."