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The Save Our Community (SOC) organization of Southport hosted its 21st annual Emancipation Day Program at St. James AMEZ Church on Dec. 29.
Norman Jones, master of ceremonies, opened the program by asking the audience to sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Emma Myles of First Baptist read the Scripture, Exodus 3:7-12. Deacon William Flythe of Friendship Baptist prayed, and Alexandria Plummer of St. James AMEZ gave the welcome.
Flythe reviewed the five original objectives of the organization, noting SOC had 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 Joshua Carter, Josettah Ray, DeMarcus Steward and Chantel Coleman presented information on a Black History event (Emancipation Proclamation) and such prominent African-Americans as President Barack Obama, Olympic athlete Jackie Joyner Kersey and surgeon Dr. Ben Carson.
The inspirational speaker was Acquinetta Johnson Beatty, project manager at the GE Hitachi Plant in Castle Hayne.
A 1986 graduate of South Brunswick High School and a 1990 engineering graduate of N.C. A&T State University, Beatty spoke about “Managing Your Brand.”
She compared the character of youth with a name-brand cereal (Kellogg) and a car (Ford) because everyone is judged on their reputation.
She also challenged them to choose a career, set realistic goals and identify means for reaching these goals.
The SOC youth choir, under the direction of Lenda Hankins, presented musical selections throughout the program. The Rev. Patricia Smith, pastor of the host church, closed the program with remarks and the benediction.