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Local NAACP branch celebrated 100 years Sunday with special event

September 17, 2018

The Aiken County NAACP celebrated it’s 100th anniversary Sunday with a large crowd and special speech by a pastor from North Charleston.

The event was held at the Center for African American History, Art and Culture at 120 York St. NE in downtown Aiken.

A reception was held before the program began and members of the NAACP brought in items and memorabilia to display. They also told stories from the past.

During the program there was a special presentation that was delivered by high school senior Robert Morris, president of the Aiken County Youth Council with NAACP.

“For 100 years this has been a steadfast and immovable service to our community,” Morris said. “Today we are celebrating and reflecting on the outstanding work that has been done while looking forward to our bright future ahead. Aiken County has been blessed with countless leaders, magnificent difference makers, directors of justice and orchestrators of equality.”

Morris introduced and recognized Eddie C. Wright, advisor of the Aiken County Branch of the NAACP’s Youth Council, for all the great work he has done for the group.

“This branch was founded in 1918, only nine years after the organization formed itself,” Wright said. “I truly believe that shows there is really something special about this branch.”

James Gallman, Sr., the membership chair with the NAACP Aiken County branch, introduced the keynote speaker of the night, Rev. Dr. Nelson B. Rivers III, pastor at Charity Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston.

Rivers gave an amazing speech, talking about the past and current issues African-Americans face.

“I came here to encourage you all to be who you are,” Rivers said. “Today, we find ourselves in a mess in America. Racism is in revival. Hate has moved into the highest seat in the government. Some people are even afraid, but I’ve come here to tell you - don’t you be afraid. Don’t worry about what’s going on now. This ain’t the first fool we’ve dealt with. (Trump) is just the highest elected fool we’ve had to deal with.”

Rivers is also is the vice president for religious affairs and external relations for the National Action Network, a nonprofit, civil rights organization.

The program also included a tour of the Center for African American History, Art and Culture and musical performances, including a prelude by USCA students.

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