Sumter County NAACP Enjoyed Another Packed Banquet

June 2019

(L-R) Dr. John Marshall, Cong. Sanford Bishop, Dr. Linda Walden, Issac Owens, Cong. Sheila Jackson Lee, Bishop Arthur Fulton

Packed house of the Americus Sumter NAACP 42nd Freedom Fund banquet.

Staff Reports


Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee rocked the house at the 42nd Annual Freedom Fund Banquet. She told the capacity crowd that all of them are, “warriors for justice.” She said by their presence was a sign of their own commitment to answering the question of, “What are you going to do in the moment?”

She said, “We do not want to go backwards. But we must challenge those who govern on issues such as voter suppression; and intimidation which denies people their right to vote.”

“When many Americans, particularly African Americans and other people of color are terrorized at the polls or are coerced not to vote because they are being misled or given false information, America loses.

Lee asked the audience, “What are you going to do in the moment? What you do now honors those who answered the call to fight and change moments. Those individuals were the men on the battlefield of wars, the men and women who fought for civil rights, and those who joined forces to uproot any injustices. Honoring these individuals is more than just giving respect to their sacrifices, but also an opportunity to continue to carry their legacies.”

Lee applauded the NAACP for its efforts in voter rights, and encouraged all of those in attendance to “join forces with the initiatives of the NAACP to ensure voting doesn’t become a disenfranchised right, but remain as a birthright, especially African Americans, who have shed so much blood.”

“It is time for us to choose to speak, to choose to be bold, to choose to make a difference. Continue to seek moments in history where we are preparing for those coming behind us. Remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: ‘The ultimate measure of a man or woman is not where he or she stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he or she stands at times of challenge and controversy.’ Be prepared for the fight. Our survival is in the ballot box. Our survival is in hope. Hope is about doing what needs to be done. Don’t let the moment pass us to do the right thing,” says Lee.

The attendees were entertained with music while enjoying a sumptuous meal. There were eleven scholarships given to graduating seniors. Bishop Arthur Fulton was a gracious host. Branch president Reverend Mathis Wright thanked and presented awards to several deserving recipients and Juanita Wilson presented a gift from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority to Ms. Lee who is a fellow member.