BY JAMES HARPER
Actor and civil rights activist Charles Dutton will be the speaker for the Volusia County-Daytona Beach NAACP’s 40th Annual Freedom Fund and Awards Banquet May 24 at the Plaza Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach.
Branch President Cynthia Slater also confirmed to the Daytona Times that legendary R&B singer Betty Wright will close the evening singing some of her popular hits. Wright is known for songs like “Clean Up Woman,” “No Pain, No Gain,” and “Tonight is the Night.’’
“We have planned another very special event this year as we honor individuals and corporations who have worked and dedicated their time to ensure positive changes in our community,” Slater said.
Activist, ‘Roc’ star
Slater said the executive committee voted unanimously to have Dutton serve as the speaker – not only because he is an award-winning actor, but because he is a supporter of the NAACP’s national campaign of felon disenfranchisement.
The campaign advocates for the restoration of voting rights for millions of citizens who were felons who have done their time and have completed their sentence obligations. It features billboards of formerly incarcerated citizens from across the country, including celebrity activists Judge Greg Mathis and Dutton.
Dutton’s acting career spans almost 30 years and he is best known for his starring role in the television series “Roc.’’
His work also includes roles in the films “DC Sniper,’’ “Rudy,’’ “Alien 3,’’ “Crocodile Dundee II,” “A Time to Kill,’’ “The Sopranos’’ and the new television series “Zero Hour.’’