REV. HUGH MORRIS: Alabama State NAACP quarterly meeting at Talladega College a success (column) (with photos)

The Talladega County NAACP hosted the first quarterly meeting of 2020 for the Alabama State NAACP recently on the campus of Talladega College. 

Branches from all over the state were in attendance. They were welcomed to the city by Timothy Ragland, mayor of Talladega. Dr. Seddrick Hill, vice president of institutional advancement at Talladega College, welcomed us to the school. 

Benard Simelton, president of the Alabama State NAACP, said, “I want to thank Talladega College and the city of Talladega for welcoming us to your campus and fair city, respectively.” 

The Youth and College Division made a strong presence. The NAACP believes strongly that future leaders must be developed today, and such development is ongoing in the Youth and College Division. 

For more than 80 years, the NAACP Youth and College Division has been one of the largest organized groups of young people in any secular organization in the country.

The “ELEGANCE IN YOU” (E.I.Y.) youth organization of Talladega County participated in the youth breakout session, representing youth in elementary, middle and high school in Talladega County. The breakout session was led by Dr. Adia Winfrey, a member of the Talladega County NAACP. Ten youth participated, and EIY founder Quinsheta Powell, also a member, was in attendance. Three EIY staff assisted.

These were the issues of concern they identified:

  • Bullying;

  • Kids being racist;

  • Teachers targeting students unfairly, particularly black students. This often happens because teachers are listening to inaccurate reports;

  • Black girls being expelled for their natural hair;

  • Inconsistent enforcement of school dress code based on body type, disproportionately affecting black girls;

  • Girls getting kicked out of school-based clubs because they are girls; and

  • Racial profiling.

The Talladega County NAACP will also host the second quarterly meeting for the Alabama State NAACP in April. At that time, a marker commemorating the founding of the first NAACP branch in the state of Alabama will be erected. 

The faculty, staff and local residents associated with Talladega College, in collaboration with NAACP future Field Secretary William Pickens, founded the first NAACP branch in the state on the college campus in 1913. 

Pickens entered Talladega College in 1898 and left four years later as the school's most illustrious graduate in its history. Pickens returned to Talladega College and taught foreign languages there for the next decade. 

This marker will be erected in front of Seymour Hall, where Pickens taught. Come out and join us in recognizing this momentous occasion. 

Membership in the NAACP is only $30 annually. Included is an annual subscription to Crisis magazine. Join the Talladega County branch of the NAACP today. Contact Josephine McKinney at 256-315-3314 or myself at 256-256-493-0525.

-- The Rev. Hugh Morris is president of the Talladega County chapter of the NAACP.