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Florida verdict sparks prayer vigil in Halifax

Subsequent to George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Citizens for a Better America, a non-profit organization founded by the late Cora Tucker, partnered with the Halifax County/South Boston National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to hold a prayer vigil Sunday evening on the courthouse steps.

The event was free and open to the public.

 “There has been strong reaction to Saturday’s verdict,” said Ebony Guy, granddaughter of the late Cora Tucker. “Rallies and demonstrations have been held in every major city across the United States in support of the Martin/Fulton families, while showing opposition to the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida and other states.”

Guy said Sunday evening’s prayer vigil in Halifax was held because “The citizens of Halifax County want to show their support for this movement.”

According to Guy, she felt personally responsible and inspired to hold a peaceful demonstration.

“I hope there’s a heightened sense of awareness…We wanted this to be a call of action in our community,” said Guy.

“As many of you know, Citizens for a Better America was founded by my grandmother, Cora Tucker, because she wanted to help raise awareness of important causes that influence our communities locally and nationwide. I am proud to carry on that tradition and lend my support to the NAACP, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization,” Guy added. 

The Rev. Frank Coleman, pastor of First Baptist Church in South Boston and president of the local NAACP Chapter, offered further purpose for holding Sunday’s rally. He said that although the country has an African-American president, there’s still a long way to go to defeat racism.

“In 1955, a young black man in Money, Mississippi, went to the store to buy some candy. Fifty-seven years later, another young black man in Sanford, Florida, did the same. Both trips led to a murder — one of Emmett Till and the other Trayvon Martin,” Coleman said.

 “We come together to pray against gun violence and the murdering of our children, against closet racism, soft discrimination and racial profiling, for the families of all the Trayvon Martins victimized. But most of all we’re praying for peace, healing and harmony once and for all in our communities, nation and world,” he added.

“It’s about praying together, and coming together in harmony,” concluded Coleman.

Also speaking at the Sunday prayer vigil was NAACP vice president the Rev. Kevin Chandler and the Rev. Margaret Coleman.