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BLACK LEADERS OPEN CIVIL RIGHTS SUMMIT

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America's blacks are facing a life-or-death crisis, NAACP leaders said as they convened a summit to try to forge a new civil rights agenda that will have the support of the most diverse elements of the black community.

Attended by about 65 leaders, including not only NAACP figures but also Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the summit is to address crime and drugs, political power and spiritual renewal.Criticized for inviting Farrakhan to the National African American Leadership Summit, NAACP Executive Director Benjamin Chavis said the need for dialogue is too great to shut anyone out.