Friday night was the Florence branch NAACP’s first Freedom Fund Dinner since the boycott against South Carolina over the Confederate flag ended.
National NAACP chairman Leon Russell says there have been strides made in opportunities for minorities since the flag came down.
“I think that we’re seeing a more receptive, open, kind of opportunity for minorities, for people of color in the state of South Carolina, and we look forward to more progress,” Russell said.
The boycott centered on the Confederate flag, which flew on the Statehouse grounds in Columbia.
The president and chairman agree, progress has been made since then.
“We’ve definitely made strides in the right direction by taking, by lowering the flag and putting it in its appropriate historical place,” Jerry Keith Jr., president of NAACP Florence Branch said.
The flag was taken down in 2015.
A few weeks ago, South Carolina hosted the NAACP regional convention for the first time in 19 yaers, in the capital city.
“We’re very proud to be back in the state after so many years,” said Russell.
Russell says the dinner is a way to pay for what the association calls the struggle for civil rights.
“It’s a special opportunity for the folks in, you know, Florence and Florence County to say we support the civil rights effort, we support the local branch of the NAACP,” he said.
Russell says the annual dinners provide the funds and resources for local NAACP branches to do the kinds of advocacy they think is important.