ST. PETERSBURG — January 1, 2016, will mark 153 year since President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The NAACP commemorates this moment in history as a reminder of how precious our liberty is. In his September 12, 1962, speech during an Emancipation Proclamation commemorative event, Dr. Martin Luther King said the proclamation “was a constructive use of the force of law to uproot a social order which sought to separate liberty from a segment of humanity.”
The NAACP hopes by continuing the tradition of commemorating the Emancipation Proclamation, we will take the necessary actions to ensure that we will never allow our freedom to be taken for granted.
The 2016 Emancipation Proclamation Service will occur next Fri., Jan. 1 at 10 a.m. at Bethel Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, 3455 26th Ave. S, St. Pete, where Dr. Rickey L. Houston tends his flock. This year’s speaker will be Rev. Don A. Gaskin, senior pastor of New Philadelphia Community Church.
The celebration will place a spotlight on young people in our community who are doing great things. Jermaine Robinson from Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High will recite excerpts from the Proclamation. Maiya Stevenson will return home from Florida A& M University where she is a voice major and perform gospel and Negro spirituals. Dundu Dole West African Ballet rounds out the showcase of young talent.
Local artist Alvin Lewis and Carla Bristol, owner of Gallerie 909, will also be present. Membership applications for the NAACP will be on hand.
For further information contact the NAACP Communications Chair Tony King at (727) 643-1551 or President Maria L. Scruggs at (727) 798-5361.