Unity Breakfast Spotlights Mass Incarceration in America

Congressman Hank Johnson D-GA addressed a full auditorium at the NAACP Dekalb County Branch’s 2019 Unity Breakfast held at the Greenforest Community Baptist Church on April 13, 2019.

Congressman Hank Johnson, D-GA speaks to a full house. “We can not ignore the new mask of oppression.” Photo by Simone Kilgore SEE MORE PICTURES OF THE UNITY BREAKFAST

Sandy Johnson, Chairperson, said that this event is a special occasion for Dekalb county residents and supporters to remember and continue the fight for justice that our forefathers started.  President of the branch, Teresa Hardy, opened the breakfast by reminding each of us that there is still work to be done and with the help of the citizens of this county we can succeed.  Emcee for the event was CBS46 anchor Tracye Hutchins.

CBS46 anchor Tracye Hutchins is presented an award by President Teresa Hardy. Photo by Simone Kilgore

The theme of the event was Mass Incarceration and Its Impact on Communities of Color.  Rep. Johnson opened his presentation by reminding us that we can not afford to ignore the new mask of oppression.  He recounted how his live presentation on YouTube in January of this year to the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP drew so many hateful comments that the comment section was closed.  Even after his speech his offices in Washington and locally were swamped with so many hate calls that he could not believe it.  Rep. Johnson compared President Donald Trump to Hitler in the January speech as he parallel how tyranny can come to power when the masses do no speak up. 

America has locked up so many of us (people of color) that jail and prison have become a norm in our communities.  Rep. Johnson cited the rise of prisons for profit and the old vestiges of slavery as part of the driving force of our incarceration.  “This attack on communities has also caused post traumatic stress among many  in our community,” Johnson said.  He went on to remind us that current events in America are examples of why the NAACP is important and it becomes more relevant to more people join and participate.

Gold medal winners in the local ACT-SO competition are presented awards for their performances and excellent work.  Photo by Simone Kilgore

The breakfast was also a time to recognize our young and talented students that work with the branch to compete in an Olympics of the mind in the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics known as ACT-SO.   The branch host competition in 33 categories with students in the area. 

If you missed the Unity breakfast, the make sure you attend next year.  Attendees were able to meet and mingle with legislators, elected officials, activist in the community.  There was also some good entertainment from some of the talented students of ACT-SO.

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