News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

November 10, 2012

NAACP honors life members of TH branch

TERRE HAUTE — The relevance of a movement was celebrated Friday for those who lived it, as civil rights activists honored their own.

The Greater Terre Haute Branch of the NAACP hosted its annual Freedom Fund banquet Friday evening inside the Holiday Inn. But instead of the traditional guest speaker and program, this year’s event featured a live performance by New York actor Brian Simmons.

Valerie Hart-Craig, president of the branch, was dressed in a gown as she explained the night’s combination of educational program and dinner theater.

“I think it’s a nice change,” she said, noting most events just have a speaker. This year’s program honored life members of the branch, many of whom worked on behalf of the civil rights movement in the middle years of the 20th century.

Simmons, who performs with the Living Voices program, said one of that organization’s dramas is “The Right to Dream,” a dramatic portrayal of the civil rights movement in America’s Deep South. The 25-year-old graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University said he typically performs for students.

“To be honest, this is the most terrified I’ve ever been to do a show,” he admitted prior to the performance. Offering a dramatic presentation about the movement to people who lived it is a challenge. “It’s like teaching astronauts about the stars.”

The piece tells the story of Raymond Hollis, a young African American growing up in Mississippi in the days where Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. were battling racial discrimination. From racial slurs and discriminatory laws to the Ku Klux Klan, the story often leaves school children speechless, he said.

Theressa Bynum, chair of the Freedom Fund and long-time member of the branch, said the history of America’s battle for civil rights is as relevant today as ever. On a drawing board beside the dinner tables, the history of a fight for equality was displayed in a timeline format.

“If you don’t know your history, you’re bound to repeat it,” she said.

Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or

2012 NAACP Awards Life Membership Achievement recipients are:

• Valarie Bailey

• Dr. Michele Boyer

• Suzanne Carter

• Earle L. Harvey

• Martha Jordan

• Joseph L. Pate

• Yosi Shibberu

• Ann D. Smith

• Floyd Smith

• Jeanette Smith

• Sidney Thomas

• Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010