South Carolina — Members of South Carolina’s NAACP will march in protest of a “secession ball” in Charleston later this month which will commemorate the 150th anniversary of South Carolina’s secession from the Union.
State NAACP leaders held two press conferences Friday, spreading the word they will protest the ball and any other sesquicentennial events that they deem disrespectful.
“We are not opposed to observances,” said Lonnie Randolph, state president of the NAACP. “We are opposed to disrespect.”
NAACP members and supporters plan to hold a peaceful march in downtown Charleston the day of the ball, on Dec. 20, followed by a meeting and question-and-answer session focusing on slavery.
Participants will watch segments of “Birth of a Nation,” a 1915 silent film that portrayed Ku Klux Klan members as heroes. Nearby at Charleston’s Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, ball attendees, who will pay $100 a ticket, will don formal, period dress, eat and dance the Virginia Reel as a band plays “Dixie.”
The evening’s highlight will be a play reenacting the signing of South Carolina’s Ordinance of Secession 150 years ago, which severed the state’s ties with the Union and paved the way for the Civil War. “This is nothing more than a celebration of slavery,” Randolph said of the event.