By Daniel Brunty
The Winston County Journal
After weeks of anticipation, the Winston County Branch NAACP were
inspired by words from the daughter of a historic figure during their
33rd Annual Freedom Fund Banquet this past Saturday at the Lake Tiak
O’Khata Pine Ridge Lodge.
The program, entitled “Reaping What I Did Not Sow”, featured Reena
Evers-Everett as the keynote speaker. Evers-Everett is the daughter
of Myrlie Evers-Williams and the late Medgar Evers. This summer, she
will recognize the 50th anniversary of her father’s assassination
with events in Jackson, MS and Washington, D.C.
Evers-Everette, a native of Mound Bayou, MS, is the executive
director of the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute. She also served as
logistics coordinator and speaker for the project known as Sojourn to
the Past, which enables thousands of high school students across the
country to visit the South to learn about the Civil Rights Movement.
The ceremonious event begin at 6 p.m. with a social hour, in which
fellow NAACP members as well as residents of the community took to
the time to congregate and prepare for the night’s events. Many of
the Who’s Who of Louisville attended the banquet, including District
43 Representative Michael Evans, Board of Trustees member Brenda
Johnson, Chancery Clerk Julie Cunningham, District 4 Supervisor
Gloria Turnipseed, and Board of Alderman members Judy McCloud,
Gwenita Mays, and Frances Ball.
The banquet featured a packed house, with over 200 tickets being sold
before and during the day of. In attendance for the event was WCBI-
TV, who interviewed Evers-Everett for their 10 p.m. edition. The
program began with a brief introduction by the Mistress of Ceremony
Rosie Harris, who led the audience in singing “Lift Every Voice”.
Delivering the greeting for the night was Ward 4 Alderman Eugene
Crosby. Crosby greeted all the guest and Evers-Everett with a warm
heart and welcomed them to the city Louisville in the future. He was
followed with a welcoming from Winston County Circuit Clerk Kim Ming.
After the invocation performed by the Rev. Joe Shumaker of Spring
Hill M.B. Church, the audience was entertained by a moving song by
Asia & Montana Eichelberger and Dustin Loving. The trio was given a
standing ovation from the crowd for their performance.
A wonderful dinner provided by the staff of Lake Tiak O’Khata was
served to all attending. Then the audience was once again serenaded
with another song from Loving with the R. Kelly hit “I Believe I Can
Introducing the speaker of the night was Mississippi Civil Rights
Museum Project Manager Jacqueline K. Dace. Evers-Everett then took
the stage to a thunderous applause.
After thanking everyone for being there, Evers-Everett thanked
Winston County Branch President Charles Hampton, Sr. for inviting her
to the event. She went on to say that Hampton reminded her of her
father for his persistence and continued work with the organization.
Evers-Everett addressed the audience about how she had to create her
own legacy like her father created his. She also spoke on what we as
a people have “sowed” into this country today, and how it has leaned
toward the negative.
Evers-Everett regarded how we must be responsible for our actions
because “every action builds your own character,” She made a point
that the younger generation must reach out to the elders to see how
they through the hard times of the past to be here today.
At the end of her speech, Evers-Everett asked for the older
generation to take the younger generation under their wing to
incorporate their knowledge to help sow the positives into their lives.
Following her speech, the Winston County NAACP presented awards from
the National Board to some of their members. Receiving the Silver
Life Member Award was Dr. Aruby Odom-White.
The next award was the Golden Life Member Award, which was presented
to Mrs. Rosa Sanders. These awards are for NAACP members who have
paid a certain amount in membership dues.
The night ended with remarks from NAACP Chairperson Renee Hampton and
President Charles Hampton, Sr. Both gave thanks to all who
contributed to this successful event and gave another special thanks
to the speaker of the night.
The proceeds from the Freedom Fund will go to the upcoming NAACP Back-
to-School Rally, in which school supplies are given to children in
the county. Last year’s event helped provide 250 kids new school