Pee Dee NAACP leader hopes for change after large-scale meeting

Pee Dee NAACP leader hopes for change after large-scale meeting

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - The NAACP will march into Cheraw Thursday to demand action on criminal justice reform.

"Maybe, just maybe if you can fix South Carolina, you can fix the rest of the world," said Anthony Hall, president of the Darlington branch of the NAACP.

The marchers started in Selma, Alabama August 1 for the America's Journey for Justice March, which extends to Washington D.C.

Hall prepared for their arrival in Cheraw with volunteers from his chapter in Darlington and members from the branch in Hartsville. The groups committed to serving the marchers dinner.

The marchers had reached Columbia earlier this week after covering 500 miles all while campaigning for voting rights, wages, public education and the right to a fair criminal justice system.

Criminal justice is the theme of what's being called a "mass meeting" Thursday night in Cheraw with the national NAACP president as speaker.

Hall said he's excited to hear the conversation at the meeting and see changes actually be implemented after.

"I'm looking for this to be not the start, but a continuation of a change that's coming because it's coming," he said.

Hall said he's concerned with the statistics of incarceration in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world and also with how many of those incarcerated are black men. He said he'd like to see the money spent on unnecessary incarcerations be put toward something more productive.

"What happens when you give a person an education, an opportunity and the training then he doesn't have to necessarily do those thing to try to make a living," Hall said.

He said he once marched for civil rights back in 1973.

"I realized, wow, we still march. That's the amazing part and the sad part too," he said.

The meeting is open to the public. It's at 7 p.m. at Pee Dee Union Baptist Church on Chestnut Street in Cheraw.

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