Photo by Heather Middleton
By Curt Yeomans
The Clayton County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will mark the 82nd anniversary celebration of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Civil Rights icon, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, with a swearing-in ceremony for its newest leaders.
The local chapter is scheduled to conduct its officer swearing-in ceremony on Saturday, beginning at 1:30 p.m., at Emmanuel Baptist church, which is located at 230 Ga. Hwy. 138, in Riverdale, said the chapter's President-Elect, Synamon Baldwin.
The group's incoming president said the ceremony will carry extra weight because the chapter's officers will be formally installed by NAACP National Field Director, Rev. Charles L. White, Jr.
"That's like a coup on a day when national [NAACP] officers will be all over the country at events commemorating Martin Luther King [Jr.'s] birthday," Baldwin said.
In addition to Baldwin, the other Clayton County NAACP chapter officers scheduled to be sworn in on Saturday include First Vice-President, Leon Booker; Second Vice-President, Dallas Wilson; Third Vice-President, William Foster; Secretary, Ruth Ash, and Treasurer, Ivan Baldwin (no relation to Synamon Baldwin).
Baldwin said the ceremony will begin with a presentation on the history of the national NAACP organization, and activities in which the group is presently engaged. After the presentation, White will swear in the local chapter's officers.
The swearing-in ceremony is actually just one of two events the Clayton County NAACP chapter is hosting on Saturday. Before the ceremony begins, the chapter will hold a brunch from noon, to 1 p.m., at Emmanuel Baptist Church, to honor its lifetime members, and install five new, "ex-officio" members, according to Baldwin.
The "ex-officio" members who will be sworn in, she said, are longtime Clayton County NAACP members Sharkley Buford; Rev. Arthur Powell; Frenda Norwood; Clayton County Fleet Maintenance Director, Wade Starr, and Clayton County Senior Services Director, Mary Byrd. Baldwin said the five pending "ex-officio" members have given several years of service to the Clayton County NAACP chapter. "They have all the rights and privileges [of chapter officers], but none of the responsibilities," she said. "They did their time. Now we've got to do it."
There are no costs to attend the events.