The Burton-Dale-Beaufort branch of the NAACP has been inactive for four years, but the group’s president said it is officially revived and poised to become an influential organization.
In January, Beaufort resident Darryl Murphy and a few others began gauging interest in reviving the branch. In June, they elected an executive committee that includes Murphy, first vice president Kenneth Felt, second vice president Bernadette Hampton, secretary Rita Smith, assistant secretary Gail Brown, treasurer Mag Cottrell and assistant treasurer Anita Singleton-Prather.
The branch now has the 50 members needed to reactivate, although Murphy could not say exactly how many members have joined.
The organization is working closely with churches and nonprofit organizations to attract new members and community support.
Recruiting hasn’t been difficult, Murphy said.
“The issues (the NAACP) has fought for make it a part of every African-American’s life,” he said. “The name NAACP resonates, or should resonate, in every home.”
Hilton Head, Lady’s and St. Helena islands also have NAACP branches, and Murphy said he has spoken with the Hilton Head branch president about cooperating on projects. He said the Beaufort branch is not only geographically large but could also be one of the most influential if members build momentum.
Issues for the Beaufort branch include job opportunities, workplace equality, education, job training and voter registration. Murphy said the branch intends to organize a candidates forum before the November election.
Youth and young-adult outreach will be important to the organization’s success, Murphy said.
“The NAACP has to be very active with young people, and you have a lot of older people who have lived through Jim Crow, who have been involved in the integrating of schools,” he said. “A lot of young people are not as attached to those realities.”
The branch is working on a full schedule of meetings, which should be available later this month.