TUPELO – Community civil rights heroes both living and deceased will be honored Friday at the NAACP annual Freedom Fund Awards Banquet/Gala.
The Lee County branch of the national organization is having the event to celebrate the NAACP’s century-long history and to recognize local achievements toward greater equality.
“We’re meaning to commemorate, recognize and celebrate 100 years of bold dreams and big victories,” said NAACP member Jim Casey. “Instead of a major speaker, we’re involving local heroes and doing a memorial for those deceased who made Tupelo a better place to live for everybody.”
The event begins at 7 p.m. at The Summit Center and is open to the public. Tickets are $25 per person and include dinner and live entertainment.
Among those tapped for special recognition are businessmen Jack Reed Sr. and Felix Black, community organizer James Hull, longtime Boy Scout leader Palmer Foster, and former Tupelo police officers Cliff Hardy and Robert Hall.
About two dozen people will receive honors, Casey said.
Audience members also will hear words from several community leaders, including the Rev. Harold Arrington, retired educator Lillie Dale Johnson and local NAACP President the Rev. Robert Jamison.
“We want to recognize those people who also believe in making the world a better place for all of us,” said Casey, stressing that the NAACP isn’t just about African-Americans but about all people.
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Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal