On Saturday, Feb. 9, thousands of participants arrived at Shaw University (in Raleigh) to march to the General Assembly (The People’s House) on Jones Street. The State NAACP, in conjunction with more than 100 coalition organizations galvanized the energy of the young, middle aged and seniors, many of whom were students from across the State, to demand from our elected State Representatives and Senators to adopt the 14-point plan presented at the doorsteps of the General Assembly building during the rally.
Several vans from Winston-Salem arrived under the direction of the Winston Salem Voting Rights Coalition, Democracy N.C. and the local chapter of the NAACP to participate in this historical 7th HKonJ march and rally. Linda Sutton and Rev. John Mendez of Emmanuel Baptist Church were two of the local organizers and participants at this inspiring event. One of the keynote speakers, Dr. William Barber, state president of the NAACP, reminded the audience that the N.C. Constitution was one of the basic criteria being used to justify the need for this occasion along with a moral directive to eradicate the root causes of poverty and institutional racism in North Carolina.
He eloquently reminded the participants that the super majority in the General Assembly is not the super majority on issues of justice, fairness and equality. The brief documentary on the level of open and hidden poverty in N.C. vividly demonstrated the moral obligation that we have to keep this issue on the State agenda for our State elected officials.
The Preamble of the N.C Constitution makes several references to the Almighty as justification for writing this plan of government, which was initially written in 1776. The First Article of this Constitution includes 15 sections under the heading of “The Rights of the Individuals.” Unlike the First Article of the U.S. Constitution, which starts with the legislative branch of government, our State Constitution demands that the rights of the individual citizen be recognized. One of those rights was demonstrated on a bright sunny day in Raleigh by thousands of citizens participating in the 7th HKonJ march and rally. There was a continued appeal to the Almighty to guide and direct our motives along with an action plan for our State elected officials to follow to ensure citizen concerns over super majority narrowly defined concerns. Contact your local chapters of the NAACP to stay informed, stay active and continue to move our communities forward.
Fleming El-Amin is a local educator, community leader and American Coalition For Good Government participant.