History highlighted at NAACP state convention in Mobile

The annual NAACP statewide convention kicked off Thursday and it will wrap up Sunday.
Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 5:52 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The NAACP Alabama state conference is officially in full swing in the Port City.

Organization leaders say it’s a time to discuss issues in the state and find solutions.

Each year, the forum is held in a different city in Alabama. It gives those towns the chance to share their unique histories, and this weekend, Mobile is doing just that.

“Seeing this exhibit, it just really tugs at your heart,” said Jan Teurnbore. “Every city that the conference has been in has a unique history about itself that you can learn. You can learn what the people in that region dealt with everyday.”

It’s Teurnbore’s first look at the new Africatown Heritage House, and he says it’s an emotional experience.

“Looking back at what they went through, it just gives me pride that we were a strong people. We were a strong people, we have always been a strong people,” Teurnbore said.

Elaine Simelton is also taking a step into the past. It’s her first time in Africatown, too.

“It is befitting based on what is going on that we are here today and that there are people that are making sure that this is not lost history,” said Simelton.

Both Teurnbore and Simelton are in Mobile for the 71st annual NAACP conference.

Attendees herald from across the state to take part in workshops and seminars tackling issues like gun violence, human rights, environmental problems and voting rights.

“We’re not going to conquer everything during this convention, but we’re going to put it in the people’s minds and the thoughts of what they can do and we’re going to recognize people for what they have done,” stated Bernard Simelton, President of the Alabama NAACP.

This year’s theme is ‘Demanding and Pursing Equity’.

“Equity is saying ‘Robert, you are going to run this race as fast as everyone and you can do whatever you want,’ but I only have one leg. Equity is giving me the opportunity to put a brace on so I can run and compete,” explained Robert Clopton, Mobile County NAACP President.

President Clopton says Mobile’s historic roots and the conference go hand-in-hand.

“We plan to share as much on the historic information of the Clotilda and the advancement of the NAACP in Mobile,” said Clopton.

Click here to register for a workshop and learn more about the conference.