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NAACP honors Pitt, Marshall

Rev. Alvin Carlisle, president of the local NAACP branch, presents Ernie Pitt with the Charles A. McLean Community Service Award at the Freedom Fund Gala on Friday, May 5.

NAACP honors Pitt, Marshall
May 11
08:00 2017

Photo by Tevin Stinson

BY TEVIN STINSON 

THE CHRONICLE

During its annual Freedom Fund Gala banquet, the Winston-Salem branch of the NAACP took a moment to honor the life and legacy of two men who helped shape the city that we call home: Ernie Pitt and the late Walter Marshall.

Pitt, the founder and former publisher of The Chronicle, was awarded the Charles A. McLean Community Service Award during the gala, held at the Hawthorne Inn & Conference Center on Friday, May 5.

Each week over the past 43 years, the city’s “oldest and most respected” community newspaper has reflected Pitt’s vision and strong journalistic pedigree. The paper has won dozens of state and national honors, and, in the late 1980s became the first black-owned newspaper to be named the state’s top weekly by the N.C. Press Association.

Before presenting Pitt with a plaque engraved in gold lettering, Rev. Alvin Carlisle, president of the local branch, applauded Pitt for being the voice of the community.

“We appreciate Mr. Pitt’s passion to tell the truth,” continued Carlisle. “We have been blessed in this community for many years because of his willingness to lead.”

Pitt said, “I feel honored to even be mentioned alongside some of the people who have served this community.”

The Rev. Joseph T. McMillian Distinguished Service Award was awarded to Walter Marshall, who died unexpectedly earlier this year. As a Forsyth County commissioner, Marshall worked hard to help create more transparency in government. He was also a strong proponent for Eastern Winston-Salem and he made deci-sions that  he determined would protect the environment. Before joining the board of commissioners, Marshall worked tirelessly at the local, state, and national levels to improve the community.

After accepting the award on their father’s behalf, Marshall’s children Krista and Malcolm thanked the NAACP for the honor.

While Pitt and Marshall headlined the program, the true honorees during the gala were five local high school seniors who each received $500 scholarships. Scholarship recipients and their high schools are: Breylynn Wray, Atkins; LaSonya Killian, Carver; Jasmine Gatson, Mt. Tabor; Jarrell Patterson, Mt. Tabor; and Kailey Raye Russell, North.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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