Courtesy photo (From left) Maurice Wilson, NAACP; Isiah L. Williams, recipient of a Freedom Fund Award; AlJoe Hinson, NAACP, and Rev. Robert Walker at the Freedom Fund Awards dinner Saturday.
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published: Friday, September 21, 2012
NAACP honors 3 young men
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
LAKE PLACID -- Three young men, one from each city, received special awards from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Saturday night. The occasion was the annual Freedom Fund Awards Dinner, held at the Elks Lodge in Lake Placid.
Charlie Brown from Avon Park, Anthony Powell from Sebring, and Isiah Williams from Lake Placid were recognized for their academic excellence and community involvement.
All three are now freshmen in college, where, AlJoe Hinson, president of the local NAACP chapter, says they continue to excel. Brown attends the University of Florida; Powell is at Miles College in Birmingham, Ala.; and Williams is at Florida State University. Powell was unable to attend the celebration, because he was needed at school.
The Elks Lodge was packed Saturday night, with approximately 200 people attending.
All the candidates for local office were there, Hinson said, along with some elected officials, including Sebring Mayor George Hensley.
The evening's theme, Hinson said, was to remember the power of the vote.
Guest speaker Rev. Robert Shannon, of Faith Christian Worship Center, gave an address called "Your Power; Tour Decision; Vote!" which was in tune with the evening. Vote, vote, vote was his message -- by which, of course, he meant get many people out to vote, don't vote more than once.
"Don't be persuaded not to vote, because by not voting you allow others to make decisions for you," Shannon told the audience.
The evening was not only about civics, Hinson said. There was entertainment as well. The Shiloh Men's Choir, Andrea Mathis, Wings of Solomon, Wings of Faith, and Katlin Jones.
Hinson said there have been changes for the better in Highlands County regarding race relations. For example, he praised tax collector Eric Zwayer for hiring minorities.
"They didn't used to have any blacks working in the office," Hinson said. "I applaud the change he made.
Highlands has become a very diverse area, Hinson added. He sees the same kinds of attitudes here that he used to see in Miami. "People there were hard nosed at first," he said, "but they worked through the hidden agendas and fought against prejudice."
"We're going to survive," Hinson said. "We are America."
"The whole theme! (by: Blindman - 9/24/2012)
The theme was "the power of the vote"? And who to vote for surely went without saying! Reverse discrimination is alive and well.
Old School (by: yeah i said it - 9/23/2012)
Hinson is a dinosaur. There are many black people that dont see things like him nor do they bow to him. He just happens to be the only one that people go to because they would rather someone do something for them than no one do anything. No different than Tom Macklin speaking out on behalf of his pet group of the month. No one listens to either one.
Gotta whine about something... (by: DJ.Steward - 9/23/2012)
First off: I'm white, so you can put that one off your mind...
Re: Hinson (by: Guest - 9/22/2012)
Funny how it's acceptable for an organization to only give awards to black people and be the same organization that would raise a huge stink if another organization gave awards only to white people. Racist is racist regardless of who is being discriminated against. The biggest racists of them all is by far Hinson and the NAACP.
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