Local NAACP is here to serve you

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Today many people are heard saying, “We don’t need the NAACP,” or “What is the NAACP doing,” and some even say “Those people don’t know anything.”

But as the president of the Natchez branch of the NAACP and as a person who has attended regional and state meetings for more than 20 years, I can truly say “Thank God for the NAACP! Then and now.”

I thank God for those who came before me who put their jobs and sometimes their lives on the line to stand up to unjust treatments of people who could not stand up for themselves. Had it not been for those brave men, women and children, both black and white, many of us would not be enjoying the lifestyle we have today. Unfortunately there is still a need for those of us in position to help those who are not able to help themselves. Sometimes we ourselves are the ones who might need help.

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In my position, I see and hear of many unfair treatments of people both black and white almost on a daily basis. Sometime it is because someone has lost a job after years of working for a company, sometimes it is because someone feels he or she has been treated unfairly by the law officials, or their child has been put out of school unfairly.

Our local chapter has and will continue to investigate any and all complaints that come to us. I admit it is easier to help those people who are members than those who are not. Over the years we have helped many who have criticized us and thought they would never need the NAACP.

I will admit also that not all complaints that are brought to us have proved to be true, but for those that are we have intervened on the person’s behalf.

In October, I attended the state convention in Jackson and our challenge was to return to our homes and let everyone know that the NAACP is alive and well and undergoing a tremendous change for the better.

The convention theme was: “Going from Good to Great.” The state president is a young lawyer, Derrick Johnson, who had a new vision for the state NAACP. He and the rest of us are alarmed at the high number of our young blacks who are going to jail and the high dropout rate of our children from school.

This trend, if it continues, will not bode well for our people.

It is because of the above reason that I am writing this article to appeal to all concerned parents, teachers, preachers and just everybody to help our local branch of the NAACP become a better organization.

Our immediate goals are to: reactivate a youth division, increase membership, network with other organizations to improve our community, educate people as to their governmental rights and responsibilities, to encourage people to get involved in political affairs and to register new voters.

Please call me if you share my concerns and feel we can do better.

Alfred Hunter is president of the Natchez branch of the NAACP.