Greenville, SC (WSPA) – For the first time ever, Greenville will host the annual NAACP state-wide convention, beginning on Thursday, October 12th.
“This is the first time in 109 years, and Greenville has never hosted the NAACP,” explained J.M. Flemming, President of the Greenville branch.
According to Flemming, there are currently 84 branches of the organization in the state of South Carolina.
He told WSPA Wednesday night that with current political tensions growing in the country, citing violence in Charlottesville and NFL protests during the national anthem, now is a crucial time for the organization to come together.
“We’re dealing with the police shootings of blacks. And you look at them shooting and they still walk away free. That’s injustice and we still have to deal with those issues,” explained Flemming.
Reverend Emanuel Flemming Senior, J.M.’s son, is also a member of the NAACP and intends to attend the state-wide conference for the first time.
“I believe it’s really on the part of the adults right now to start letting our youth understand what is happening in our society. Not preaching racism, no. But realism,” he said.
Thursday night, delegates from each branch are scheduled to meet for a dinner and honors ceremony.
There will be workshops and seminars throughout the weekend.
Bishop Samuel Zimmerman is the first Vice President of the Greenville Branch, as well as a member of the state’s Political Action Committee.
He told 7 News on Wednesday that the NAACP has faced a number of challenges over the years, but he believes that it’s nothing the organization can’t overcome together.
“We’ve still survived. And that’s something that we as a minority have been accustomed to doing in the face of whoever was in office. We continue to gain ground,” said Bishop Zimmerman.
The convention is free and open to the public.