by John Steinberger | February 9, 2019 4:12 pm
The 350 guests at the second annual Charleston County Republican Party Black History Month banquet received a recurring message of racial unity and cohesion at The Citadel Alumni Center Friday. The event was headlined by Senator Tim Scott and included closing remarks by Emanuel AME Pastor Eric Manning. Rose Dillion, a student at Charleston County School of the Arts, sang the national anthem. The event was hosted by The Citadel Republican Society.
In opening remarks, Charleston County GOP 1st Vice Chair Maurice Washington remarked, “Today, we celebrate the vital role of African-American people in our country. We should celebrate the diversity and commonality of our country and its people.”
Scott said, “Every once in awhile, we should speak about the progress we have made in race relations.” He cited the cohesion in the Charleston community in the wake of the mass murder involving Emanuel AME Pastor Clementa Pinckney and eight other parishioners during a bible study session in 2015. Scott also encouraged an open discussion about the sanctity of human life. He said, “We need to be equally concerned about the health of a 20-week-old child as we are with one 20 weeks into the womb.” He blasted Virginia Governor Ralph Northam for his explicit support for late-term abortion and even infanticide.
First Baptist Church School senior Ke’Von Singleton, who has won an essay contest and produced five documentary films about race relations, quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stating “We must learn to live together as brothers, or we will we will learn to perish as fools.” Singleton received a standing ovation.
Reverend Manning closed the program, stating, “In this room, there is a spirit of unity.” He added, “If we can take the time to serve each other rather than be served, we can make the world a better place!”
Five local African-Americans were recognized at the banquet for their service to the community – South Carolina Minority Affairs Commission Chairman Ken Battle, Charleston County Associate Probate Court Judge Tamara Curry, actor and arts patron Art Gilliard, Charleston County School Board Chairman Eric Mack, and former State Representative Samuel Rivers.
Musical entertainment at the Black History Month banquet was provided by the Voices of Deliverance Gospel Choir and the Burke High School band. Charleston County Republican Party Treasurer Russ Leach presented a $1000 check to Burke Principal Cheryl Swinton and Band Director Linard McCloud.
February, in addition to being Black History Month, is the birth month of Frederick Douglass. Douglass was a slave who gained his freedom and published a newspaper which advocated for the abolition of slavery. He was a leader in the Republican Party who advised President Abraham Lincoln and four other Republican Presidents.
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