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Goose Creek NAACP Celebrates Black History Month
3/5/2014 2:53:07 PM

(L-R) Allison Chisolm, Silas Adams, Dr. Millicent Brown, Jada Orr, Arvaughnna Postema, Julian Harrell, Morgan Jackson, Isabel Raisbeck, Leroy Lewis, Jr., Kandaché Griffin, Joshua Tolbert
On Monday, February 24, 2014 at the Goose Creek NAACP branch and the U.S. Postal Service united to celebrate Black History Month with oratorical presentations from students and the Lowcountry unveiling of the 2014 Black Heritage Stamp honoring Shirley Chisholm.

Dr. Millicent Brown of Claflin University, an educator and civil rights activist was the Mistress of Ceremony. In 1963 Dr. Brown was the primary plaintiff in a NAACP-sponsored lawsuit (Millicent Brown, et al vs. Charleston County School District #20). The winning of this lawsuit led to the desegregation of public schools in South Carolina.

The program opened with a prayer from Goose Creek resident the Rev. Leonard Griffin, pastor of Morris Street Baptist Church. Following the prayer, Boy Scout Troop 469 posted the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Goose Creek NAACP Vice Presidents, James Dukes and Willie Brooks welcomed and thanked all present for attending the Black History Program. The audience was also greeted by City of Goose Creek Mayor, Michael Heitzler. Mayor Heitzler previously signed a proclamation which designated, “February 2014, as Black History Month in Goose Creek, South Carolina, and in recognition of the importance of Black History Month encourages all citizens of the City of Goose Creek to recognize the contributions of African Americans in not only our City but in our country’s history and encourage local residents to strongly support and participate in events planned to commemorate Black History Month.”

One audience member, Mr. Archie Franchini, Deputy Superintendent of Berkeley County School District, said, “I thought the Black History program was very good.  It is always great to see our young people shine.” 

The student orators ranged from 6th graders to a college senior. Their presentations and involvement were poignant and relevant.  A perfect example of the relevance was College of Charleston Sophomores Miss Isabel Raisbeck and Miss Morgan Jackson’s presentation on classism. Freshman Mr. Julian Harrell’s poetic rap displayed his energetic talent, intuitiveness, and creativity.  College of Charleston Senior Miss Arvaughnna Postema and Miss Jada Orr, an 8th grader at Charleston School of the Arts also gave impressive orations and reminded the audience how gifted and intelligent our young people are.

Remarks from the U.S. Postal Service were given by Ms. Lorna G. Coakley, Charleston Business Mail Entry Unit Supervisor. Postmaster William Davie and employees from Summerville sold stamps with a special pictorial postmark made for this historic occasion.

Mr. Leroy Lewis, Jr., Community Outreach Coordinator with The College of Charleston said, the program “was awesome and provided a powerful glimpse into the amazing youth leadership nurtured by the local community. The array of youth presenters excited educated and inspired an accepting audience of community members. Dr. Millicent Brown brought history to life as the mistress of ceremony and was the perfect conduit for the inter-generational evening of celebration and fellowship.”

The Rev. Julius Barnes, President of the Upper Berkeley County NAACP branch and City of Goose Creek Council member, Mr. John McCants, were in attendance and applauded the outstanding performances by the young people.

John Matthews, a Life Member of the NAACP and Chairman of this year’s Black History program pointed out that “Mr. McCants was the first African American elected to the City of Goose Creek Council.

Mr. Lewis also said, “The U.S. Postal Service and the NAACP honor and unveiling of the Shirley Chisholm stamp was ground zero living history that empowered all attendees and caused the room to swell with pride in honoring an American trailblazer. I hope that you will repeat and expand this kind of empowerment program that provides individual and community resilience.”

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