I want to thank the Birmingham Branch of the NAACP for honoring me with the Trailblazer Award last week. I am honored to receive this award, and I want to take this moment to convey some of the thoughts that came to mind as I stood there receiving that fantastic piece of crystal. I’ve long been encouraged by the work of the NAACP and other legacy civil rights organizations understanding that their value and importance has not waned. When W.E.B DuBois, Ida B Wells, and others created the NAACP, black people needed advocacy and organization. Fast forward another 120 plus years to 2021, and black people still need advocacy and organization.
While there can be no doubt that things have changed and progress has been made, some of them due to the persistence of the NAACP, still, as the adage says, “the more things change, the more things stay the same.” As a community, as a people, as a race, we continue to need each other, and we need to operate in an organized fashion, always with our minds and eyes set on the prize of improving the plights of our brothers and sisters.
So let me proclaim that I am as committed as I have ever been to continue to work for social and economic justice. I invite and encourage all of you to join me as we stand shoulder to shoulder with organizations like the NAACP to make things better for our people. Once again, thank you to the Birmingham NAACP for bestowing me with this tremendous honor.