NCAAP’s Black History Parade to celebrate ‘Power beyond measure’
By Ann Cantrell
On April 19, downtown Madison is going to look a lot different. The area in front of the courthouse will have a festival in front of it while the streets from Morgan County Primary School to East Avenue down Hancock Street and ending on East Washington will be filled with the horses, floats, motorcycles and other vehicles for a parade.
The local branch for the NAACP is hosting their Annual Morgan County Black History Parade, titled this year, “Power beyond Measure.” Laura Butler, president of the Morgan County NAACP branch, said the parade is an opportunity for the community to come together and that there is no charge to participate in the parade.
“We feel that we want to give back to the community,” said Butler. In the actual parade, Butler expects 70 to 80 participants and said that plenty of people have already registered to participate.
Around the courthouse there will be a festival with gospel singers from various churches and a step team from McDonalds.
The band from the Frederick Douglas High School in Atlanta is scheduled to perform in the festival. Butler said that although it is no longer Black History Month, she felt that the parade was still necessary to celebrate the African-American heritage.
“Why should we stay in just one month?” asked Butler.
The parade was started in the 1980s in Madison by activist Elzata Brown and the organization has continued to host the event ever since. Butler went on to say that while the parade celebrates the cultural heritage of African-Americans, the Morgan County Branch of the NAACP exists to guarantee and protect the civil rights of all races.
The Morgan County branch began in 1970 after a charter was applied for in 1969 and is run by all volunteers.
She also said that during her time with the branch, the community of Madison has been very receptive organization and understands that the branch is here to help the citizens of Madison.
In their time here, the Morgan County NAACP Branch has enjoyed a deep rooted connection with the churches in the community.
In fact most of the religious groups participating in the festival have been involved before. The organization will even provide a minister at the festival in case individuals need spiritual help. Butler added that their connection within the community does not end with the churches of Morgan County but also extends to the businesses within the area as well.