A brief history of Flagler NAACP’s return in 2000

NAACP

The following narrative, presented at the October Flagler County NAACP meeting, is a snippet of the requested document and an excerpt of the branch’s actual history: 

As Press and Publicity chair, I was charged by our president, Linda Sharpe Matthews, to write the Flagler County NAACP history for a griot project, requested by and for the NAACP Florida State Conference, Sept. 26-28, 2019, at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando. 

I was blessed to have been involved with the branch since Day 1. 

I was one of 22 members on the Committee of Intent to upstart the dormant Flagler County branch in the year 2000. 

The charge was led by Jacqueline A. Browne, who took the lead of reorganizing the branch, and later became the first-elected Branch 5147 president.

Not only was I to document our history, but display the work on a poster board, showing our charter, photographs, and newspaper clippings – which, in essence, was the opportunity to highlight our 19 years of existence in Flagler County. 

From Rosa Parks, the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement  – being refused access to speak at Flagler Palm Coast High School during a 1996, 40-city speaking tour, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Montgomery Alabama, bus boycott – I additionally documented the election process of our first president, to naming the other four presidents – Calvin O. Edghill, Robert Williams, James L. Sims, and Linda Sharpe Hayward (Matthews). 

This included the branch’s involvement in voter registration, town hall candidate forums, health fairs, book fairs and symposiums, in addition to training from the NAACP Florida State Conference.

Jacqueline A. Browne, Robert Williams, James L. Sims and Linda Sharpe Matthews.

More projects 

The griot project noted the youth internship programs, summer camps, back-to-school jams, a Youth Council, education and scholarships; as well as the national Centennial Anniversary, and our Freedom Fund banquets. 

The project established the Jacqueline A. Browne Memorial Golf Tournaments, a cruise fundraiser, 200 Club fundraiser to winning money, and building a bridge of understanding through a trip to see our brothers and sisters in Haiti. 

It introduced our outreach to veterans, Bunnell’s Alpha Pregnancy Center, the ACT-SO program, where our young people brought home bronze and gold medals for talent from the NAACP national convention, as well as writing press releases and securing publicity for the branch. 

Kaiti Lenhart

Moreover, the report shows our drive to expand economic empowerment and business ownership, and includes the branch’s award for overwhelmingly increasing membership – the even playing field sought for our youth in the Flagler County school district – the complaints of unlawful employment discrimination, as well as our protest rallies in Sanford brought about by the injustices to Trayvon Martin, the 2018 “March for Our Lives” rally in Parkland, where our young people participated. 

Other endeavors included the Southern Poverty Law Center’s class-action complaints to eliminate the school suspensions of our youth and the stiffer charges from the State Attorney’s Office for two teens who threatened to kill a teacher. 

Today, Branch 5147 comprises approximately 450 paid members and includes: Linda Sharpe Matthews, president; Barbara Goss, first vice president; Ernest Voyard, second vice president; Dr. Phyllis Pearson, third vice president and Education chair; Carol Gaines, secretary; Patricia Webster, treasurer; William McLeod, Armed Service and Veterans Affairs; Orlando Johnson, Economic Development; Eric Josey, Legal Redress; the Rev. Sims Jones, Religious Affairs; Blanche Valentine, Community Coordination and Civic Engagement; Commander David Williams, liaison to the Flagler Sheriff’s Office; Sonia White, WIN; at-large members John White, Larry Jones, and James T. Lee; Stephanie Daniels, ACT-SO chair; Johnny B. Daniels, ACT-SO co-chair; and yours truly, Jeroline McCarthy, Press and Publicity. 

Lenhart to speak at AAUW meeting 

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Flagler recently sent the following email: 

The association will host the Nov. 9 general meeting, 11 a.m., in the main dining room of Pine Lakes Country Club, 400 Pine Lakes Parkway, Palm Coast. 

AAUW Flagler will welcome Kaiti Lenhart, Flagler County Supervisor of Elections,  to discuss the steps to improve public confidence in our electoral process. 

Election security headlines span local, state, national newspapers and media platforms. 

Why? That’s simply because the association members state that your vote is your voice – and it matters! 

Moreover, they say that increased voter confidence leads to increased voter turnout. 

The 2020 elections are around the corner. Find out what your elections office has done, is doing, and will continue to do to protect your vote. 

“By the way, are you registered to vote?” they asked.

Lunch will be available for $18 per person. 

For reservations and the menu, contact Sally Smeaton by email: shsmeaton@gmail.com, or call 386-447-4137 by Nov. 6. 

Epic Theatre to present ‘Harriet’ 

Blanche Valentine, African American Cultural Society (AACS) administrator, writes: 

From her escape from slavery through the dangerous missions to liberate hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad, the story of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman is told:

Join the National Community to make the premiere of “Harriet” a box-office smash! 

A one-day showing was originally planned. But now, “Harriet” will be featured at the Palm Coast Epic Theatre, Oct. 31 through Nov. 6 – and it’s the opening night that will earn recognition. 

Please consider wearing your AACS tee shirt to the theater, 1185 Central Avenue, Palm Coast. The show times are 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. 

For further details, call the Epic Theatre at 386-206-9757. 

***

As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted, the prodigal son, or daughter, and the bereaved. 

Celebrations 

Birthday wishes to Doug Bembry, Oct. 31; Karen Griffith, Nov. 2; Jatarri Booker, Nov. 3; Joanne Price, Nov. 4; Dot Straker, and Lisa Henderson-Baker, Nov. 5. 

Happy anniversary to Bill and Rita Acey, Oct. 31; and Herbert and Enery Hodge Booker, Nov. 4.

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