by Bob Geary
National NAACP President Ben Jealous will be back in Raleigh a week from Saturday. His presence is meant to focus the 5th annual HK on J march on the issue of school resegregation, with the Wake County battle over student assignments continuing to be an enormously important test case.
The march — which calls for Historic Thousands at the General Assembly on W. Jones Street (HK on J) — is scheduled to kick off at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12.
From the NAACP national office:
Thousands Will Rally in Raleigh To Fight Segregation
NAACP Pledges “Forward Ever, Backwards Never” As Tea Party-Backed School Board Advances Re-Segregation Agenda in Wake County
WHO: NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP North Carolina State Conference President Reverend William J. Barber II, will lead thousands of NAACP members and over 90 organizations in demonstration against “separate and unequal”
WHAT: On Saturday, February 12, thousands of activists will march to the North Carolina State Legislature building to oppose attempts to re-segregate the schools and to march for jobs. NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous and NAACP North Carolina State Conference President Reverend William J. Barber II will be leading the march of over 90 organizations.
“Forward Ever, Backwards Never” will serve as the march’s clarion call. Local Tea Party-backed school board officials have advanced an agenda of “neighborhood schooling” that would drastically reduce school diversity and roll back years of progress. Like Arizona and immigration policy, Wake County is being watched by other states where efforts to restore segregationist educational systems are being considered.
“Our fight in Wake County against resegreation should be our fight throughout the nation,” stated Reverend Barber. “We will never back away from our struggle to ensure that every child has access to a high quality, constitutional, well funded and diverse public education.”
“Separate but equal was wrong then, and it’s wrong now,” stated Jealous. “We cannot in good moral conscience separate the struggle for diverse and superior education from the struggle for jobs and economic solutions. We’ve got to fight for our children, for good schools, for good jobs, and for a great future for all people in our nation.”
WHERE: Raleigh, North Carolina
Marchers will depart from Estey Hall (100 block W. South St., Shaw University campus) and march to the North Carolina State Legislature building (16 West Jones Street)
WHEN: Saturday, February 12, 2011
Marchers gather at Estey Hall: 9:30 AM
March begins: 10:30 AM
Program at Jones Street: 11:00 AM — 12:00 PM
Press availability: 12:30 PM
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.