Civil Rights Alliance to host Black Tie Gala

Special to the Herald

A noted historian, author and educator will be the featured speaker at a Black Tie Gala being hosted by the Greene County Civil Rights Alliance next month.

The event, which will carry the theme of “The Struggle is Real, but the Legacy Continues…” is set for Saturday, Feb. 23 at Leakesville Elementary School on Annex Road. Greene County native Dr. Tiffany Packer will be the keynote speaker for the event. Special music will be provided by Charlie Carter, a saxophonist from Hattiesburg.

The Greene County Civil Rights Alliance, the group responsible for the civil rights monument placed on the front lawn of the county courthouse last January, is sponsoring the event. While the event is not tied to the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, GCCRA spokesperson Pauline Porter, says the memory of Dr. King and the ideals he pushed for, will be a big part of the Black Tie Gala.

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech on the March on Washington in 1963 for jobs and freedom,” Porter wrote in a press release announcing next month’s gala. “In this speech, King referred to the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation “as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.”

“The Constitution and Declaration of Independence was referred by King as a promissory note that every American was guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to include both black and white men. However, for some people of color, the struggle of inequality continues. As we continue to fight for liberty and equality among all men, we must turn to our faith to face the struggle.”

Dr. Packer obtained her Ph. D from UNC-Greenhorn, and was the first African American to graduate with a Ph.D. in History from that institution. She currently serves as a Assistant Professor of History at Florida A&M University.

Dr. Packer has done extensive research on the 1979 Greensboro Massacre and has a particular focus on Post-Civil Rights activism in black working-class communities. Her latest publication entitled, “Death by Guns and Caravans: White Supremacists Violence from Greensboro to Charlottesville”., examines the history of white supremacy from the dawn of the 1980s to the present.

Among many other honors, Dr. Packer was the recipient of the 2018 American Historical Association’s Equity Award for her demonstration of an exceptional record in the recruitment and retention of students and faculty from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups within the historical professions.

Dr. Packer received her Bachelor’s Degree from Florida A&M University in African American Studies and her Master’s Degree from UNC-Charlotte in History. She is a wife and a mother of four.

General admission tickets are available to the gala for $25 and include a meal. The VIP tables seat eight people for $35 per person and included a personal food server for the table. Formal attire is required for the event, which is set to begin at 6 p.m.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact Porter at (601)258-1480 or Sharon Tatum at (601)394-8504.

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