Boone boasts of proud history at NAACP’s Freedom Fund Banquet

Published 10:06 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

MURFREESBORO – Bishop James C. Watford, 3rd Vice-President of the Hertford County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People # 5403, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the Hertford County annual Freedom Fund Banquet held on Sept. 9 at the Nebo Missionary Baptist Church Family Life Center.

President Dr. James Shearn extended a welcome to the 300 attendees.

Dr. Linwood Morings Boone, D. MIN., pastor of the Corinth Chapel United Church of Christ in Suffolk, VA, was the guest speaker. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People theme, “Elevate Higher-Emerge Stronger” was central to Dr. Boone’s 23-minute speech.

Dr. Boone prefaced his speech by saying, “I am unashamedly black and unapologetically christian. My roots in the black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. I am a child of the African Diaspora, and remain “true to our native land,” the mother continent, the cradle of civilization.”

His message was pungent with facts and illustrations. He said, “God in His wise providence choose to create man from the dust of African Soil, and place him in the Garden east of Eden. The casual reader of this text will overlook the fact that the real name for Africa is Eden.

“The negro has an ancient history which is second to none in majesty and splendor,” he added. “The ancient Egyptians towers, the fertile valleys of the Nile, the towering pyramids of a cultural and unsurpassed civilization have revealed to the world that their masters were Negroes. It is not familiarly known that he great sphinx benign, magnanimous and inscrutable was carved by a Negro face. The Negro has nothing of which to be a shame. He has legitimate reasons for the highest self respect and self esteem.”

Boone cited facts espoused by Ivan Van Sertima, the Guyanese historian, who claimed that Africans had been to the New World centuries before Columbus arrived there in 1492. Citing, among other things, the huge Negroid-looking Olmec heads of Central Mexico and the similarities between the Aztec and Egyptian calendars and pyramid structures.

Boone’s speech included a brief description from Paul Alfred Barton declaration from his book: A History of the African Olmecs: Black Civilizations of America From Prehistoric Times to the Present Era that the very first inhabitants of the Americas were Negritic Blacks from Africa, who arrived in the America’s earlier than 100,000 years before Christ. This occurrence would have taken place during a period in human history when the only Homosapiens were Negritic Blacks, and recent migrants from Africa. This means that the Black race existed for more than one hundred thousand years before all other races came into being.

Negroes were with Balboa when he reached the Pacific, with Cortez in Mexico, and with the explorers of Guatemala, Chile, Peru and Venezuela. The territory now forming New Mexico and Arizona was first explored by a party led by Estevanico, a Negro. Menedez had Negro artisans with him when he founded St, Augustine in 1565. The second settler in what is now Alabama was a Negro member of the Desoto expedition of 1540, who liked the country and settled among the Indians. Ancient manuscripts mention Alonza Pietro “il Nigro” (the Negro), as the pilot of the Nina, one of Columbus’s ship.

Dr. Boone assented to the ideal that not only should Hertford County Black population be proud of their royal Egyptian and African lineage, but they should be proud of the remarkable achievements since emancipation from slavery. He heralded the fact that black men have done as noble things as any other race of men, and, “we have nothing which can bring us to shame. We stand in the light of a glorious past which negated South Carolina’s poet laureate, Archibald Rutledge’s 1932 statement that, in the South, the Negro has a genuine place in society. It is secondary, but it is certain. He lives and moves and has his being in the security of a definite status.”

Instead, Dr. Boone offered the illustrious legacies of such Hertford County notables as Isaac J. Cooper, Rev. George T. Rousen, Charles Smythn Yeates, Sr., and Mary Evelyn Riddick to certify his claim.

Isaac J. Cooper was born June 30, 1861 in the Maney’s Neck Township of Hertford County, where spent all of his life endeared himself to the township. He gained the respect of people by a life of active service.

He was an active member of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church for 45 years, having been made a deacon when he was only a member for two years. He continually served in that capacity since that time. He was the clerk of the church for 42 years, during which time he only missed three conferences because of uncontrollable circumstances. He was a Sunday School teacher for 22 years and for 27 years its superintendent.

Realizing that he was somewhat declining in years, he asked the church to elect another clerk, but the church refuses to do so, but put some one there to help him and made him clerk emeritus for life.

He donated the ground on which Mt. Sinai church stands. In 1882 he gave land for a cemetery, which since has been added, and he gave to Hertford County the parcel of land on which the new Rosenwald school was built.

He served as Trustee of Waters Normal Institute, from its establishment until it was changed to Waters Training School at which time he was put on the Board of Directors. He concurrently raised a large family, and made sure that they attended Mt. Sinai Church and Sunday school each meeting Sunday.

Cooper was a great help to the people of Hertford County. He provided advice as well as material aid to women, children and families in their times of need and distress.

Charles Smythn Yeates, Sr. was the last surviving member of the first graduating class of Elizabeth City State Teachers College in 1896. He taught in Hertford County for 56 years. Yates was responsible for the first Negro bus purchased to transport pupils in Hertford County before the State of North Carolina provided transportation for Negro children. The bus went from Ahoskie to Winton. He taught at Courthouse School in Maney’s Neck Township, where he was the principal.

On September 4, 1962 a motion was made by D. C. Eure and seconded by D. A. Wiley to approve the election of Mary Evelyn Riddick, teacher, Buckland School, subject to the approval of the District Committee. Riddick had traveled for 55 years from her Herford County home to Buckland High School and to Central High School.

Dr. & Mrs. Linwood Morings Boone were accompanied by 23 members from the Corinth Chapel United Church of Christ, Suffolk, Va., congregation, and several other friends from the community.

His remarks received a long standing ovation.

Other appearing on the program were Rev. Mercedas Forney, Prayer; Ronald Gatling, Moments of Celebrations; Ayanna Smith, soloist; and Rev. C. David Stackhouse, Introduction.