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State NAACP to hold annual convention

Posted October 1, 2008

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— The forced sterilization of poor, black women more than 40 years ago and the Wilmington race riots of 1898 are on the agenda of next week's state NAACP annual convention.

Hundreds of men, women and youth from around the state are expected to attend the 65th annual event, which runs Oct. 9-12 at the North Raleigh Hilton.

"This is a true civil rights convention, and we will have workshops that focus on everything from economics to education to international affairs," said Rev. William Barber, president of the state conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Preceding the convention will be a symbolic pilgrimage by NAACP members who will march from Winston-Salem and Wilmington over a week's time and converge on the State Capitol grounds next Thursday.

Barber said the two cities symbolize events in American history involving blacks that the state has disregarded. The NAACP wants North Carolina lawmakers to move on bills regarding the events or face legal action.

"We would rather not take legal action," Barber said. "But what we cannot do is allow injustice to happen in history or anytime and just be washed over."

In November 1898, armed whites marched through black sections of Wilmington, driving people out and killing some who challenged them. Whites also deposed elected black officials and took control of the city.

A bill has passed in the state House to acknowledge the riot, agreeing that the state government failed to protect the citizens of North Carolina during that time.

A state-sponsored program that ran from the 1930s to the 1970s designed to reduce social problems like poverty and mental illness resulted in the forced sterilization of 7,600 people, including children as young as 11 years old.

Now, state lawmakers are considering a bill to provide compensation to those affected by the program.

"It was a sinister program that deemed women mentally ill and then took away their right to produce without their will," Barber said. "Those women, many of whom are still living, need to be compensated."

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  • KEB59 Oct 2, 2008

    Reverend Barber: I've got three questions for you:

    1. During the Duke Lacrosse fiasco, you declared yourself and the NAACP as the "watchdogs of the Constitution". When will you be issuing your public apology for your misdeeds and mistakes associated w/ falsely accusing innocent persons of a crime that they did not commit.
    2. Will the NAACP be issuing financial restitution to the true victims of your misdeeds?
    3. Dude, when they removed your neck, did they also remove your spine and sense of morality (regardless of skin color)?

  • Dr. Dataclerk Oct 2, 2008

    I can't imagine Willie Barber stirring something up. That is totally out of character for him. (Sarcasm)

    Really, you could have fooled me. He is just making a name for himeself ("I" person). How about Barber doing something positive for the black kids in helping them obtain better grades, not committing any kind of crime and staying out of jail/prison. The past is the past. What is being done for today's issues in the black community?

  • Dr. Dataclerk Oct 2, 2008

    How about less selective indignation and more preaching in the hood about personal responsibility.
    sweetsea

    Good comment. OK NAACP how about standing up for a change and doing something instead of being the "I" person.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Oct 2, 2008

    How about starting with how to raise your child with good morals ??
    chrbellm9

    I agree. I also like to see what can be done in keeping our black kids out of prison. This would be something the NAACP leader should take an interest in.

  • lilreno is in the wind Oct 2, 2008

    "It was a sinister program that deemed women mentally ill and then took away their right to produce without their will," Barber said. "Those women, many of whom are still living, need to be compensated."

    This was an horrendous crime, however, this was done by a different generation. If the NAACP wants to compensate them victims, then by all means let the NAACP pay them. I'm not willing to pay for something I had no part of.

  • chrbellm9 Oct 2, 2008

    I can't imagine Willie Barber marching anywhere other than the buffet line, what a leach on the people that support him!!! They are marching on all the wrong things that would make black folks lifes better !!!!!!! How about starting with how to raise your child with good morals ??

  • sweetsea Oct 2, 2008

    The NAACP will torque out about a paper noose in a bathroom stall and not utter a word about an atrocity such as the Eve Carson murder. How about less selective indignation and more preaching in the hood about personal responsibility.

  • MeatHead Oct 1, 2008

    There is no statue of limitations for murder in the state of NC.100 yrs. ago or 1 hr. ago.I totally agree.You must also understand alot of land was forcefully taken.They have actual records of living decendants.What if it was your family?

  • ccs1920 Oct 1, 2008

    unc83/ Except for the $$$ part, I could not agree with you more. Excellent comment.

  • mproctor2 Oct 1, 2008

    focus on issues of black on black killings , gang violence , high school drop out rates , generations of living off the govt. why put all energy in the past . history is history . all races have been part of injustice.

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