Groups hold NAACP candidate forum

(bottom row l to r): Sheryl Huff Allen; Dr. Talluah Shinault; Sheryl Guinn, attorney (top row l-r): Clyde Poag; James Johnson; Harriet Callie; and  Charles R. Smith; (photo by Deborah A. Culp)

(bottom row l to r): Sheryl Huff Allen; Dr. Talluah Shinault; Sheryl Guinn, attorney (top row l-r): Clyde Poag; James Johnson; Harriet Callie; and Charles R. Smith; (photo by Deborah A. Culp)

With mixed emotions in the aftermath of the general presidential elections sweeping the country, Nashville and its African American community are expressing a wave of political concerns to its safety and well-being no less critical. The Nashville branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is facing issues of massive gentrification and unrest over the placement of its civil rights museum.

The NAACP was founded Feb. 12, 1909 and known and documented as the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. It’s more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, campaigning for equal opportunity and conducting voter mobilization.

Local Executive Committee meetings take place every second Tuesday, and the general membership meetings take place every fourth Thursday.

On the brink of its upcoming elections, an NAACP Candidates Forum was sponsored last week by the Concerned Citizens of Nashville and hosted by Pleasant Green Baptist Church. The guest speaker, Dr. Forest Harris, president of the American Baptist College, spoke of the need of the Nashville NAACP to increase its vigilance and advocacy in light of the recent elections.

Current Nashville NAACP President Ludye N. Wallace (courtesy photo)

Current Nashville NAACP President Ludye N. Wallace (courtesy photo)

“Unity is essential, and the importance of the organization must remain first,” said NAACP President Ludye Wallace.

Wallace says that some of the things he’d like to see take place moving forward is to make sure that everyone was on the same page, to collectively work together, and to have a branch office this is professionally staffed with modern up to date technical equipment. He said a system is needed to network with all organizations in Nashville’s NAACP membership databases.

Wallace is a fully paid life member, who has been involved in the community all of his life. He said increasing membership is key.

Wallace has strong supporters and says that he will continue to be involved whether he is the NAACP president or not. He seeks “making the place better for everyone in many ways, so that people can be involved and join in on the hard work ahead.”

“There is so much more work to be done, hard work is essential. I love my community and will always fight for it,” said Wallace.

Over the years the NAACP meetings have been held throughout the city in various churches. Involvement has been strong in the esteemed civil rights organization and has included a wide selection of guests, ranging from elected officials to CEOs. The doors of the NAACP are open to the public and everyone is invited to join the organization.