Letter: Working together, we can achieve social justice for all

As we near the end of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Dalton-Whitfield NAACP wants to express its solidarity with the Latino community in our area and around the world. Though too often ignored, the African American and Latino communities are inextricably linked through our ancestors’ shared experiences with slavery and colonialism, and subsequent racism and discrimination, in the Americas.

Africans were not only brought to the United States as slaves, but were also involuntarily taken to places in South America, Central America and the Caribbean during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. From 1502-1867, about 12.5 million Africans were transported through the Middle Passage and brought to the Americas. Of the 10.7 million people that survived the dreaded journey, only about 450,000 came to the United States. By sheer numbers, the African roots are even deeper for our brothers and sisters in Latin American countries. We can see the strong African influences and similarities in our cultures through our music, dance, speech and religious practices. It is clear. We share the same ancestral past.

The Dalton-Whitfield NAACP believes in the strength of our area’s Latino community and it is our hope that we can continue to strengthen our ties to it. There is no limit to the impact that we can have on this community if we work together. Our vision is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race. This vision is not only reserved for African Americans, but is for all people. We hope to achieve that vision by securing equality politically, educationally, socially and economically.

The Dalton-Whitfield NAACP supports local businesses, helps people register to vote, advocates for those that cannot advocate for themselves, educates people of their constitutional rights and seeks to build bridges where there has been disconnect. We’re on a mission for civil rights and social justice for all. And it takes all of us working together to achieve that.

Marisa E. Kelley

Dalton-Whitfield NAACP branch president

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