It was 51 years in the making and even Hurricane Matthew tried to stop the celebration.
The annual NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet, held at the Hyatt Riverfront, lauded the city’s game changes in a festive dinner attended by over 700 patrons.
Headlining the event was Rep. Honorable Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri who preceded his role in congress as the first African America Mayor St. Louis, MO in 1991.
“Let’s do more than say the pledge of allegiance, let’s live it,” said Cleaver. The evenings program included the presentation of awards to the many outstanding leaders and community champions that have made a difference in Jacksonville communities around the first coast.
Awardees included: Fernidad Juluke (Rutledge Pearson Award), Kenneth Middleton (Sallye B. Mathis Award), Former Senator Tony Hill (Willye F. Dennis Award), Kenneth Manuel (Olivia Gay Davis Award), Marie Heath (Elizabeth Means Award), Jamecia Hill (Outstanding ROTC Cadet).