Tuesday, 18 June 2024

25th annual NAACP event honors trailblazers, founders

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The Praises of Zion Baptist Church Choir performs at the Sunday NAACP event. Photo by Thurman Watts.

 

CLEARLAKE The Lake County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a resoundingly successful Black History Month program and dinner on Sunday, Feb. 18.


The standing-room-only crowd that attended the festivities included many dignitaries from the arenas of politics, business and culture.


NAACP's local chapter was founded by Rick Mayo – now the chapter's first vice president – along with Clarence Wright Sr., A.C. Marks and past California State Conference Vice President Gilbert Gray.


A proclamation was made by the office of state Sen. Patricia Wiggins in recognition of Black History Month and the Lake County NAACP.


Judy Thein, Mayor of Clearlake, on behalf of the City Council and citizens of Clearlake spoke encouragingly to the crowd on the topic of city government being in complete accord with the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and dream.


The mayor also made a proclamation in honor of Dr. King, Black History Month and the NAACP, declaring them to be integral to the American experience.


Dr. Linda Robinson, pastor at Praises of Zion Baptist Church, rendered a powerful message that touched on the lingering effects of slavery on the psyche of of African-American people and the failure therein to educate subsequent generations adequately.


Peppering her oratory with quotes from African-American intellectuals like Nikki Giovanni, Carter G. Woodson, Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Robinson cautioned against the reality of academic lynching and complacency.


Supervisor Ed Robey provided the keynote address. His theme was on why he chooses to be a lifetime member of the NAACP.


Robey spoke of coming of age in the 1950s and 1960s, when 14-year-old Emmett Till was brutally murdered in Mississippi; the struggle of James Meredith to enter the University of Mississippi; Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice; and the fire hoses of Sheriff Bull Conners' repressive regime in Alabama.


His main thrust was that social change and justice are yet necessary to the fabric of life in America and the NAACP's nonviolent stance is a "very cool" way to achieve those goals.


Lake County thespian Voris Brumfield presented a dramatic and creative portrayal of Alberta Williams King, the mother of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Woven skillfully into her oration was a proclamation and commendation from the office of Congressman Mike Thompson in honor of the occasion. Brumfield used humor and candor in bringing Alberta Williams King back to vibrant life.


Another highlight of the evening was the presentation by Mayo of the Founder's Trailblazer's Award to Dorothy Myers.


Myers has been political chair of the Lake County NAACP for the past 20 years, in conjunction with being a Legal Redress Committee member for six years.


She has made huge contributions collectively with the body of the local chapter in many areas, including housing, education and employment issues within the community. It was largely through her efforts that the Boys & Girls Club of Lake County was resurrected.


Also recognized for 16 years of organizing Black History Month programs in Lake County was Mae Nahmias.


Lake County NAACP President Aqeela El-Amin Bakheit acknowledged Nahmias' work ethic as being equivalent to the efforts of 10 people – she even prepared the dishes for the evening's soul food buffet.


The gifted Nahmias eventually treated the audience to her vocal prowess at the urging of the president.

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Mae Nahmias was recognized for her efforts to organize Black History Month programs. Photo by Thurman Watts.


Bakheit also presented plaque awards to the family of Dr. Alan and Kathy Sampson family; Aaron and Gloria Turner; and Al and Mae Nahmias for their generous and continued contributions to the local NAACP branch.


St. Elmo Mosby Jr., education chairman, recreated King's powerful "I Have A Dream" speech with chilling accuracy and emotion. The audience responded with two ovations.


Outstanding musical selections and contributions were made by the Praises of Zion Baptist Church Choir, the Beit Chavurah Group and keyboardist David Neft.


The evening's festivities and the diversity of the attendees indicated that Dr. King's dream is still vibrant in the community at large in Lake County.


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Upcoming Calendar

18Jun
06.18.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Lakeport City Council
19Jun
06.19.2024
Juneteenth
19Jun
06.19.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
22Jun
06.22.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
22Jun
06.22.2024 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Love of the Land Dinner
25Jun
06.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
29Jun
06.29.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
2Jul
07.02.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

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