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The Save Our Community (SOC) organization of Southport hosted its 20th annual Emancipation Day program at Mount Carmel AME Church on Dec. 31, 2011.
Norman Jones, master of ceremonies, opened the program by asking the audience to sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Joshua Carter of Friendship Baptist read the Scripture (Exodus 3:7-12); Christina Brown of Friendship Baptist prayed; and DeMarcus Steward of Mount Carmel AME gave the welcome. Aljean Cromartie of First Baptist reviewed the five original objectives of the organization.
Jones noted that SOC has concentrated on three objectives by sponsoring the Emancipation Proclamation program in December, the student recognition program in June and a Bible quiz bowl in September.
Youth representatives Robin Bernard, Josettah Ray, Marcus Steward, Resean Roberts, and Cameron Wearren presented information on such prominent African Americans as Madame C.J. Walker (business owner), Barbara Jordan (congresswoman), Ruby Bridges (school activist), Walt Frazier (professional athlete), and Booker T. Washington (educator).
Although the inspirational speaker, Dr. Chantal Rivera, could not attend the program because of a last-minute job assignment in Maryland, Gloria Smith Jones, his mother, gave some highlights of her career. Dr. Rivera, a Southport native, graduated from the N.C. School of Math and Science in Durham. She received her B.S. degree and doctorate degree from North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill. She is the scientific review officer for the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md., having done extensive research in pharmacology.
The SOC youth choir under the direction of Linda Hankins presented musical selections throughout the program. The Rev. Phillip Blair, pastor of the host church, closed the program with remarks and the benediction.