This gallery contains 20 photos.
This gallery contains 20 photos.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Edward W. Dorn Center
26 Pennsville Pedricktown Road
Pedricktown, NJ 08067
Honoring Gerald Krivda, Law & Public Safety
Rev. Anthony Rocco, Religious Service
Loray Greene, Community Service
Dennis Thomas, Education
Salem County Youth, Rising Stars
For Tickets or more information, please contact:
Daffonie Moore (856) 935-5021/Ida Garlic (586)769-3699
Ken Braxton (856)769-1575
Deadline: March 6, 2015
Kennard Braxton, NAACP President of Salem Chapter #2105
This gallery contains 18 photos.
In recognition of Black History Month, each Sunday during February the South Jersey Times is profiling African-American organizations in Salem and Cumberland counties.
By Tracy Wiggins
By building strong community relationships and speaking out about injustice, the Salem County Branch of the NAACP has remained strong and focused over the past five decades.
“Going back over the years, we’ve always tried to be at the forefront of getting things changed,” said Kennard Braxton Sr., president of the Salem County NAACP, “particularly getting things changed through the courts.”
Established in 1909, the NAACP – the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization.
Historically, the NAACP has influenced the lives of people across the country in a broad spectrum of issues including social equality, education, politics, religion and health care. From Plessy v. Ferguson’s “separate but equal” principle to Brown v. Board of Education involving segregation in schools and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the NAACP has made its presence known in the journey to equality for African-Americans, and in turn, for all Americans.
The Salem County Branch of the NAACP, chartered in June 1961, remains true to the mission of the national group – advancing the objectives of the organization and engaging the community in joining the effort to ensure that all individuals have equal rights.
Locally, the organization has been busy as well, particularly in the early days, Braxton said. He said he remembers marches in Salem City to protest cross burnings and addressing local schools when approached by residents with issues.
James Pope, a member of the organization and past president, said he has been involved with the NAACP in some way since he was a teenager.
“I’ve always been civic-minded,” he said. “I’m 75 years old, and I’ve lived through everything that happened in this country and this county.”
Though Pope believes that the Salem County NAACP has made great strides over the years, there is still more work to be done. He said he still hopes to see more African-American educators in the county.
But most importantly, Pope said, he wants to see the county’s youth get more involved in creating equality in society. He feels that young people don’t have a full picture of the struggles African-Americans have endured, including right here in Salem County. He said, for example, that most youth don’t know of the many local historical sites related to the story of African-Americans or realize that there was segregated schooling in Salem County.
“I don’t know if young people really understand all that came before them,” he said. “If they did, I believe they’d have a lot more appreciation for how life is now.”
Braxton also said that getting youth involved has been challenging, but the group has a youth chapter. It just needs more volunteers, he said.
“It’s so easy to get involved,” he said. “We just need to make sure we get the word out.”
The organization works hard to raise awareness of its presence and mission. It strives to be seen as an ally, Braxton said. To accomplish this, the organization holds several events throughout the year, including the Freedom Fund Banquet held every fall. It also awards six scholarships to local students each year.
At the January meeting, Salem City Mayor Charles Washington administered the oath of office for the installation of the new officers for the Salem County NAACP. The officers are: Braxton as president; Nelson Carney as 1st vice-president/chairman of legal redress; Valerie Lacy as 2nd vice-president/officer; Stacy Shorter-Carney as secretary; Ida Garlic as treasurer; and John Washington as assistant treasurer.
The Salem County NAACP always welcomes new members. General meetings, which are open to the public, are held on the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m., usually at Mt. Zion Baptist Church at 437 Grieves Parkway, Salem.
Braxton said he hopes more people will come out to the meetings and become a part of the group. More members can bring more awareness to the true mission of the NAACP.
“We are a civil rights organization,” he said. “If you have a discrimination or civil rights issue, let us know. We’ll look into it and investigate to the best of our ability.
“We want to even the playing field,” Braxton added. “Maybe one day the NAACP won’t be needed, or at least needed the way it was before. But it is still needed today. There is still discrimination going on.”
For more information on the Salem County NAACP, visit the group’s website atwww.salemcountynaacp.org.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
12 noon to 4pm
60 Main St.
Pennsville, NJ 08070
Tickets are $35.00 per person
Honoring All Salem County School Boards
Proceeds go to Scholarships for Salem County High School Seniors
Kennard Braxton, NAACP President
For Tickets call, Daffonie Moore
Salem Sunbeam : Sunday, February 06, 2011, 11:52 PM
The famous painter Vincent van Gogh once said: If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things.
Ken Braxton, 70, of Woodstown has that insight and as the president of the Salem County Branch of the NAACP he carries with him the true spirit of humanity and equality among not only African-Americans, but all people of this world.
“A lot of people do many different things,” said Braxton. “I tell people I like to concentrate on one thing and the NAACP is what I am concentrating on right now.”
Braxton was born and raised in Salem County. His parents moved to the Woodstown area from Virginia in the 1920’s.
“Things were just better up here,” said Braxton. “My Dad was really good at carpentry work and I know he worked up at DuPont for some time.”
His father bought a nice size piece of land on Bailey Street in Woodstown that many family members built their houses on and Braxton still lives today.
“A lot of the land is still in the family,” he said.
In 1965 Braxton began his career at New Jersey Bell Telephone, which was later split to form AT&T and then split again to form Lucent Technologies.
“I’m glad I took the job. Sometimes you can’t see the big picture when you are young,” said Braxton. “I was a little leery because I knew you had to go into people’s houses and I never knew how people were going to react.”
Now retired, Braxton admits he is a daydreamer, but most days he likes to spend time with his wife and other family. He also finds himself riding his four-wheeler around the multi-acre plot of family land.
“I like playing around with it you never get to old for such things,” said Braxton. “It’s nice and I use it quite a bit.”
Braxton and his wife, Barbara, have been married for 43 years. He said they met at a dance in Yorktown. They have two sons.
“Time goes by so fast and I feel fairly good and sometimes I forget my age,” Braxton said.
Braxton had two sisters and six brothers. He was the third youngest.
“We started off, all of us, at the South Woodstown School,” he said. “It had two classes per room.”
Braxton distinctly remembers the coal stove used for heating the classroom.
At this time the schools were segregated in Woodstown and it wasn’t until Braxton was in fourth grade that district was desegregated.
“When they closed it (South Woodstown School) down we ended going to the middle school in Woodstown,” said Braxton. “I was apprehensive at first, but I personally never had any real problems there that I can remember.”
Braxton excelled at sports and played both football and baseball for Woodstown High School.
“At that time we could never beat Salem,” Braxton said with a chuckle. “I remember one of our coaches used to say ‘We don’t care about the rest of the season, just beat Salem,’ but we could never beat them.”
NAACP Membership Chair Cecil Parsley graduated from Salem High School the same year as Braxton did from Woodstown. He often jokes with Braxton about their high school football rivalry.
“I’m really proud to know him,” Parsley said of Braxton. “Ken has always been a hard worker for the NAACP and now taking on the role of president he has been a real asset.”
Parsley said himself, Braxton and many of the others executive board members have worked together to restore the branch.
Braxton said the NAACP is working on a number of initiatives including increasing membership and making sure the hiring process is fair throughout the county.
He said this is especially important in schools.
“I like to think at least the NAACP, as a county organization, will look at these things. It’s not that we mean to take jobs or push people out. We just want to make things equal,” said Braxton. “But we understand there has to be qualified people applying.”
The vision of the NAACP is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.
The NAACP is also introducing the group to all the police chiefs in the area to build a better relationship with law enforcement.
“I think sometimes people tend to think that the NAACP is the boogeyman,” said Braxton. “But that’s not the case. We just want a level playing field.”
Braxton said the NAACP hopes to revive its Youth Council again. He hopes to get this accomplished this year. The youth program has been dormant for a decade.
“We hope to get this started up real soon,” Braxton said.
The NAACP is always seeking new membership. The group meets the fourth Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church on Grieves Parkway in Salem or you can visit the organization’s website at http://www.salemcountynaacp.org/.
January 17th Salem Highschool | Sponsored by Mt. Pisgah AME Church
NAACP PRESIDENT – Kennard Braxton Sr. presents letters of appreciation to honoree’s