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NAACP holds fast to Dr. King’s dream

By Delcenia Turner
Posted Monday, January 8, 2007

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Chatham County, NC - The NAACP, the oldest and most influential civil rights organization for African-Americans and other peoples of color worldwide, plans to launch a massive NAACP membership and voter registration drive beginning January 13, 2007 at the organization’s annual banquet. “It is time we honor Dr. King’s dream in a more tangible way,” noted Larry Brooks, President of the Western Chatham Chapter of the NAACP.” Dr. King’s vision is in essence what the NAACP was originally created to strive for, equality for everyone, irrespective of race. It is the time for us to incorporate the ideals of his dream in our every day lives.”

The theme of the NAACP’s 63rd Annual State convention, held in Goldsboro, NC on August 2006 was called “Civil Rights 101: Back to the Basics “Voting our Values and Valuing our Votes.” The convention concluded with a mandate for the NC chapters to not only attempt to register as many unregistered voters as possible and to conduct strenuous educational forums around voting rights as well.

Alluding to the 2006 primary and general elections in Chatham, Brooks said, “Many African-Americans did not know that their basic constitutional right to vote was at stake in those elections. “It seems that people have forgotten the essence of Dr. King’s dream.”

Most of King’s energies were spent on securing and then protecting the constitutional rights of people of color to have a voice in their own governance.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by then President Lyndon B. Johnson, was directly in response to civil rights efforts by Dr. King as well as a coalition of white liberal individuals and organizations.

Mr. Brooks stated, “Many people, both black and white still do not know what the Voting Rights Act entails. That is why we have to go back to the basics and educate people. Lack of knowledge is a circumstance that can never be allowed to threaten anyone’s constitutional right to vote again.”

Mr. Brooks pointed to increasingly grim statistics of life for peoples of color in Chatham County and across the nation due to their inconsistency in gaining access to power through their votes. “It appears that a trend to reverse the gains we’ve made over the years is afoot; Our communities have the highest percentage of unemployment; those who do work are paid wages lower than the average for the same job performance, institutional racism in the schools is causing more and more of our children to stifle their full potential and affordable housing and health care seems to be almost non-accessible. These conditions would change substantially if we just exercised our voting rights consistently.”

Dr. King viewed political empowerment as an integral element in the blueprint of life. He saw it as the master key to opening the doors of economic and social opportunities for peoples of color and also for communities, associations and nations to achieve human equality based on shared moral values and equal power for everyone, irrespective of race.

The theme of the breakfast, “Holding Fast to the Dream: A Reality Based Blueprint for Empowerment” will be addressed by guest speaker Rev. Carl E. Thompson, Chairman of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners and moderated by former commissioner, the Honorable Margaret Pollard. The annual breakfast banquet will begin at 8 AM in Holy Trinity Church located at 309 Trinity Street in Siler City. Tickets are $6 and can be paid at the door or by contacting Alma Taylor at (919) 774-8492 or Del Turner (919) 776-0563. NAACP membership and voter registration forms will also be available.

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NAACP holds fast to Dr. King’s dream
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