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NAACP seeks new life, new beginning, new era in 2021

Black History Month

By Dawn Burleigh

Reverend John Jefferson Jr. officially took the position of President of the Orange Branch of the NAACP in January and plans to continue the rekindling of the organization which began a year and a half ago as he worked under Carolyn Mayfield during her term as president.

“We were already in the process of rebuilding and then COVID,” Jefferson said. “It slowed down the progress but we are still moving forward.”

While the organization is working on appointing persons to the Executive Committee, there have been several ZOOM meetings and at least three face to face meetings.

“We are going back to the core purpose and beliefs of the NAACP,” Jefferson said.

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation.

The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race, according to the NAACP official website.

Objectives:

  • To ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all citizens
  • To achieve equality of rights and eliminate race prejudice among the citizens of the United States
  • To remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes
  • To seek enactment and enforcement of federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights
  • To inform the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and to seek its elimination
  • To educate persons as to their constitutional rights and to take all lawful action to secure the exercise thereof, and to take any other lawful action in furtherance of these objectives, consistent with the NAACP’s Articles of Incorporation and this Constitution.

The organization is also working on a membership drive

One can renew their membership or join by contacting Jefferson at 409-670-3308 or Secretary Beverly Robinson at 409-330-0085 Membership starts at $30 and has several levels as well as a lifetime membership. You can also email naacp.orangetexas@gmail.com to request an application or more information.

“We have many lifetime members who would like to get involved,” Robinson said. “They can contact us as well.”

A Black History Month Program is planned via ZOOM at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20. To register for the event, visit its Facebook page at NAACP Orange TX. Anthony Browder will be the keynote speaker.

“We will also feature some local singing talents,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson said one of the important reasons for his joining of the group was it is a vehicle to get the black voice out and for the black voice to be heard.

“It was very important because as a child I remember my grandparents felt their voice was really heard through the NAACP,” Jefferson said. “It is a way to unite people. Pulling folks back together again because everybody is somebody.”

Robinson agreed the organization is about uniting people.

“We look at everyone as equal. We are all God’s children,” Robinson said. “It is the voice of equality. We make sure we have a voice and equal and work together for one cause.”

Towards building a better tomorrow, today, the Orange Branch is hoping to host several webinars during the year to help educate others on the organization and what they can do to become more involved.

“We want to be more involved in the community,” Jefferson said. “We want to partner with other organizations and work with them to create a better community and the betterment of people in the community. It is about building a new life, new beginning and a new era.”