ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (KYW Newsradio) — For the first time since 1955, the National Convention of the NAACP is coming to Atlantic City, New Jersey this year. According to the city’s chapter president, much as changed since then, yet much remains the same.
Atlantic City NAACP President Kaleem Shabazz acknowledged that many things have changed for the better since 1955. We’ve seen two terms of a Black president and a woman of color as vice president. Millions of African Americans have earned advanced degrees, and there’s no overt segregation.
“To say that there has been no progress would not be accurate and it would dishonor the resiliency of people of color and what many people have accomplished,” said Shabazz.
But some issues remain as Black people are still fighting for things like stronger voter rights, and unbiased treatment by all law enforcement across the country. These and many other issues will be taken up at the convention, which will run July 14-20.
“Everybody’s super excited. It’s been a long, long time since the national convention has been in Atlantic City, and we are ready to host for people to talk about some very serious issues, and also to enjoy some of the amenities that Atlantic City has ,” Shabazz said.
It took three years to bring the convention back to Atlantic City, and Shabazz said they have plenty of support from the local business community.
“We want to make it a memorable week of meetings and seminars and coming together,” he said, “so when people leave them say, we hope that this has been one of the best conventions they’ve ever experienced.”
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are expected, as is tradition, along with New Jersey US Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez and most of the state’s congressional delegation.
This will be the first in-person NAACP national convention in two years. In all, more than 8,000 attendees are expected.