Today we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors of the mid-fifties and sixties who marched, campaigned, rallied, and lobbied for the right to vote and have access to social and political changes in America and even Madison, Georgia.  Towns in the sixties were sweltering in racial division and unrest; a society unacceptable of interracial relationships within its community, separated by many walls, barriers, tracks, recreation, and social involvements, which in a lot of situations was blatant discrimination. 

A large number of black men in America were targeted and profiled for having interracial relationships with white women. It was no different in Madison, Georgia. A biracial couple was in a relationship and when the white community found out about the relationship it brought out in the open a lot of the hidden hatred and bitterness. The white woman accused the black man of rape, which brought on a quick and disappointing rape charge that carried a lengthy prison sentence. The black community was outraged because they knew the accusation was not true. 

These unbalanced and unfair practices caught the attention of a few black visionaries of Morgan County to come together in unity and organize the Morgan County Branch of the NAACP in 1969. The main reason the Morgan County Branch of the NAACP was formed was to react to the racial outrage in the community of Morgan County. The organization has propelled and allowed us to push forward on many fronts with the initialization and support of people like Mr. Walter C. Butler, Jr., the first black county commissioner, Mr. Sam Bishop, the first black city councilman, Mrs. Carrie Peters-Reid, the first elected black woman on the city council and Rev. Fred Perriman, first black Mayor of Madison.

During that time of racial unrest, the Morgan County Branch of the NAACP was instrumental in a number of individuals seeking justice against discrimination. The Morgan County Branch and the American Civil Liberties Union attorney, Christopher Coates, sued the city of Madison and Morgan County for having only one district which was at large voting. With only one district, it did not represent the diverse community in its entirety.  The NAACP won the suit for district voting and currently, we have five districts for city, county, and school.

Thank God for a group of individuals who saw the need for a local NAACP to advocate for people of color who were subject to racial inequality on a regular basis and could not fight individually against such injustice on their own. Some of those courageous individuals were James Edwards, Walter Curtis Butler, Jr., Willie Cook, Laverne (Bird) Dorsey Veasley. The first branch president was Albert Jones. Mr. Walter C. Butler, Jr. was branch president six months later in 1970. Other presidents include Mr. James Edwards in 1982, Rev. James McCray in 1998, and Mrs. Laura W. Butler in 2000. Mr. Kendrick Simmons, Sr. in 2018. Our current president, Pastor Lonnie C. Brown became branch president in November 2019.

In the beginning, the branch meetings were held at Calvary Baptist Church and Jones and Turner Funeral Home. As time passed, the branch was fortunate to have its own meeting place donated by lifetime member, Mrs. Marie Martin Bass. It was located on West Washington St which is known today as the Tea Room. In November 2018, we were blessed with a new office location at the Wellington building located at 1140 Monticello Road, Suite 180C, Madison, Ga.  30650. The new office location gives us the space we need to increase memberships, organize, operate, and offer help to the community.

As we move forward in a time when fighting for the rights of people of color seems normal, there have been some accomplishments: The Jubilee Day, MLK Breakfast and Religious Program, Black History/Founder’s Day, Black History Parade & Festival, Brown vs Board of Education program, Freedom Fund Banquet and two Virtual Freedom Fund Banquets, but we must not rest on our laurels. We stay diligent in the purpose and clear of our mission, to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. And because there is still a certain level of racial differences, the journey is still moving forward today and beyond.