Friday, February 2, 2007

NAACP leadership: a case of deja vu?

Is Kevin Myles the new Chet Lewis?

At least one Eagle reader seems to think so, saying in a posting on Thursday at "The NAACP has finally been graced with an assertive and functional leader who is capable of attacking and dealing with issues at hand and as they present themselves. I don't think we've seen this kind of leadership since Chet Lewis."

For those who need a refresher course: Chet (Chester) Lewis was the NAACP attorney whose lawsuits filed during the 1950s and 1960s struck down segregation in public accommodations and forced the local school district to integrate its all-black elementary and junior high schools and approved. During Lewis's branch presidency, the NAACP's youth chapter conducted what is now thought to be the first youth-led lunch counter sit-in at Dockum Drug, which struck down segregation at all Rexall Drug stores in Kansas and Dockum locations in Wichita. He is the namesake of Lewis Elementary school and the newly-renamed Chester I. Lewis Reflection Square Park, which features a replica of the Dockum lunch counter near Broadway and Douglas.

The NAACP is currently working to outlaw the sell of drug paraphernalia in Kansas, among other initiatives involving workers' rights and closing the academic achievement gap between minority and white students.

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