The Sentinel-Record/Submitted Photo SPECIAL GUEST: Leann Jefferson, co-owner of Jefferson's Bar-B-Que, appears next to her food truck in this undated photo. Jefferson will be the guest speaker at this month's NAACP meeting where they will be celebrating 75 years of service to the community.

The Sentinel-Record/Submitted Photo SPECIAL GUEST: Leann Jefferson, co-owner of Jefferson's Bar-B-Que, appears next to her food truck in this undated photo. Jefferson will be the guest speaker at this month's NAACP meeting where they will be celebrating 75 years of service to the community.

NAACP unit marks 75 years of service

By Grace Brown
This article was published November 10, 2017 at 4:00 a.m.

The Hot Springs chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Unit 6013, will celebrate its 75th anniversary during its monthly meeting on Saturday.

The public is welcome to attend the meeting, which will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Webb Community Center, 127 Pleasant St. Along with celebrating 75 years of ensuring civil rights laws are consistently upheld, members will also recognize veterans of foreign wars and the civil rights movement and hear from guest speaker Leann Jefferson.

"We feel the need to recognize veterans who are in and out of war because back in the day, some soldiers came back from fighting for the entire country to find they had to drink out of certain water fountains. They were never properly recognized for their sacrifice," said NAACP secretary and lifetime member Elmer Beard.

Jefferson will discuss her experiences as the co-owner of a business and giving back to the community. She is the co-owner of Jefferson's Bar-B-Que, 1200 Malvern Ave., a food truck specializing in Southern barbecue staples. Jefferson has owned the business along with her father since 2015, and is also an avid runner and hairstylist.

"(My father and I) are focused on giving back to the community because we grew up in the community. (It has given) us encouragement, strength, knowledge and compassion over the years," Jefferson said.

According to Beard, Unit 6013 of the NAACP was secretly founded in linen closets on Central and Malvern Avenue in 1942. Since then, it has had the goal of ensuring that African-American people hold active positions of power within the community and that civil rights laws are upheld in society and the workplace. When needed, it investigates claims of discrimination and pursues legal action, if deemed appropriate.

"When we investigate the claims we receive, we are making a difference in the community. To put it simply, we do not want to be seen as any less or second-class citizens," Beard said.

"There are those who want to see the progress the NAACP has made over the years, but there is no one way to measure our success," he said.

Local on 11/10/2017
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