NAACP expects ‘positive’ message

By Anastasia Semien

HOUMA—CNN analyst Roland Martin will deliver a hopeful keynote address at the Terrebonne Parish’s 28th Annual NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet on Saturday, August 14, said president Jerome Boykins.

“He will bring a positive message to the people of Terrebonne Parish,” he said. Marlon Jackson, singer and elder brother to the late pop king Michael Jackson, will discuss his life and growing up in the national spotlight.

The local organization celebrates this year with the national theme “One Nation, One Dream.”

NAACP Image Award Chair Clayola Brown explained why it was chosen during the award ceremony.

“Here we are: one nation built on one dream,” she said. “With humility and confidence, we draw upon the spirit of those before us to embrace the four words that boldly express the theme of this year’s NAACP…One Nation, One Dream.”

Brown also said that those words will “come alive” in the next chapter of African American history, despite fear and hatred.

Past speakers include SCLC president Elder Bernice King, actor Danny Glover, judges Greg Mathis, Mablean Ephriam, and Glenda Hatchett, as well as U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr.

Although this event brings internationally-known speakers and attracts more than a thousand people, chapter secretary and banquet Chairperson Sheri Ezell said this event is about something bigger than the numbers: area youth.

Scholarships will be awarded to 29 local high school seniors who have maintained a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Ezell said that the combination of this gesture and the messages that Jackson and Martin will bring will teach the students that to “become a CNN analyst (or) become a singer…you still have to get your education first.”

“We want to show them that anything is possible, and work hard and this could be you,” she said.

More than 1,100 people will gather at the Houma Civic Center for the event.

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