NAACP holds 54th Free­dom Fund Ban­quet

Urges at­ten­dees to vote in Tues­day’s elec­tion

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - IS­SUE By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— “Ev­ery vote mat­ters” was the pre­vail­ing mes­sage of the 54th Free­dom Fund Ban­quet for the Ce­cil County Branch of the NAACP.

Held Satur­day night at Schae­fer’s Canal House in Ch­e­sa­peake City, key­note speaker Ger­ald G. Stans­bury, pres­i­dent of the

CH­E­SA­PEAKE CITY

Mary­land State Con­fer­ence of the NAACP, urged those in at­ten­dance to vote Tues­day, if they had not al­ready cast a bal­lot dur­ing early vot­ing.

While cit­ing the many so­cial and civil in­jus­tices suf­fered by the AfricanAmer­i­can com­mu­nity, Stans­bury said these on­go­ing prob­lems are now be­ing ad­dressed by a new gen­er­a­tion.

“They don’t want to hear ‘We Shall Over­come’ any longer,” Stans­bury said, re­fer­ring to the sig­na­ture song of the 1960s civil rights move­ment. “We have now come to a point where there is a move­ment, the be­gin­ning of a revo­lu­tion where our young folks, the mil­len­ni­als, mem­bers of the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment have come on the scene and they do not in­tend to turn the cheek any longer.”

List­ing his­tor­i­cal fig­ures in­clud­ing Har­riet Tub­man, Fred­er­ick Dou­glass, Rosa Parks, Mal­colm X and Martin Luther King Jr.,

Stans­bury said Black Lives Mat­ter should be given the same cre­dence.

“You know we should em­brace the sen­ti­ments of Black Lives Mat­ter even if we can­not agree with its or­ga­ni­za­tional mis­steps, be­cause ob­tain­ing real and com­plete free­dom is still worth the fight for ev­ery hu­man be­ing,” he said.

Stans­bury em­pha­sized that “our great­est weapon is the bal­lot.”

“With the use of the bal­lot, we do not have to please to the fed­eral govern­ment for pas­sage of anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion laws and voter pro­tec­tion be­cause we will, by the power of our vote, put laws on the statute books that bring an end to the das­tardly acts of the racist po­lice,” he said.

Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court Judge Will Davis Jr. added his voice to the cry.

“I chal­lenge ev­ery­one in this room to get some­one not in this room to get out Olive Gar­den was hon­ored by the Ce­cil County branch of the NAACP at the Free­dom Fun Ban­quet Satur­day night in Ch­e­sa­peake City. The Elk­ton restau­rant was given the Cor­po­rate Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Award. Valery Calm-Cole­man, chair­woman of the Free­dom Fund Com­mit­tee and El­yse Mur­ray, pres­i­dent of the Ce­cil County branch, present the award to Stephanie Robin­son, gen­eral man­ager of the lo­cal Olive Gar­den.

and vote,” Davis said.

Along with the deeper mes­sage, there was also a cel­e­bra­tion as the lo­cal branch handed out its an­nual awards.

Michael Lynch was sur­prised to learn he was the re­cip­i­ent of the 2016 Pres­i­dent’s Award. El­yse Mur­ray, pres­i­dent of the Ce­cil County branch, said Lynch freely and ea­gerly makes

his pho­tog­ra­pher skills avail­able to the branch, even trav­el­ing out of the area to cap­ture mo­ments for the NAACP group.

Bethel African Methodist Epis­co­pal Church in Port De­posit was given the 2016 Re­li­gious Af­fairs Award for its com­mu­nity ser­vice, which in­cludes a food dis­tri­bu­tion pro­gram that feeds more than 300 peo­ple each Ger­ald G. Stans­bury, pres­i­dent of the State Con­fer­ence of the Mary­land NAACP, urges his au­di­ence at the Ce­cil County NAACP Free­dom Fund ban­quet to vote in Tues­day’s elec­tion.

month.

Ce­cil County Pub­lic Li­braries was the re­cip­i­ent of the 2016 Ed­u­ca­tion Vi­sion­ary Lead­er­ship Award for its ef­fort to make ed­u­ca­tion avail­able to all. In re­ceiv­ing the award, CCPL direc­tor Mor­gan Miller said she finds it ex­cit­ing to see who uses the branches.

“When I go to the li­brary I see peo­ple of all col­ors, ed­u­ca­tion and eco­nomic lev­els learn­ing to­gether,” Miller said.

Olive Gar­den was awarded the 2016 Cor­po­rate Com-

mu­nity Ser­vice Award for its do­na­tion of more than 8,000 pounds of food for the hun­gry in Ce­cil County. Stephanie Robin­son, gen­eral man­ager, ac­cepted the award for the Elk­ton restau­rant.

While both the re­cip­i­ents of the 2016 Ed­u­ca­tion Awards were too busy with school to at­tend the ban­quet, Kwansma Arku and An­drea Nickle were rec­og­nized. Both North East High School grad­u­ates were given $500 to­ward their col­lege ed­u­ca­tion.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court Judge Will Davis joined the many voices at the Ce­cil County NAACP Free­dom Fund Ban­quet Satur­day in urg­ing peo­ple to show up at the polls Tues­day and vote.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

James Wil­son and Lisa Smith, par­tic­i­pants in the “Hu­man Rope to Stop the Dope” event in Elk­ton Satur­day morn­ing, made it clear where they find their sup­port.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

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