Story by Chelsea-Catherine Croom, Photography by Woody Woodard & Chelsea-Catherine Croom
On Sunday, May 28, the Jackson-Madison County NAACP held the 54th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center. As event attendees entered the double doors of the Civic Center they were greeted and escorted by the organization’s youth members. They walked through a beautiful archway onto an aisle lined with photos of key members of the NAACP recognized as “NAACP Legends.”
This year’s honorees included: Rosetta Miller Perry, founder and publisher of the “Tennessee Tribune” newspaper and civil rights activist; Morris P. Fair Sr., retired teacher and community leader; Mary Cunningham, founding member of the Top Ladies of Distinction; Pastor Lee Wilkins of the Next Level Cathedral of Praise; Reginald Green, professor, interim chair, department of leadership, first African-American president of the faculty senate at the University of Memphis; Arva Hildreth Robinson, teacher; Margaret E. Savage, teacher and community activist; James Howard Pearson, World War II veteran; Helen Porter, first African-American crossing guard in Jackson; W.T. Yarborough, deputy under Sheriff Buford Pusser.
One of the event’s attendees, Dorothy Hall Harris, has attended each year’s event, without fail, for the past 54 years. “It’s one of my favorite nights of the year,” she said.
For more information about the Jackson-Madison County NAACP, please call (731) 660- 5580.