SAVANNAH, Ga. - South Carolina's NAACP will stage its annual convention in Savannah this October to uphold economic sanctions tied to the civil rights group's call for removal of the Confederate battle flag from Statehouse grounds in Columbia.
The three-day meeting starts Oct. 10 at Savannah State University, the historically black institution on Savannah's east side, NAACP and university officials said.
It will mark the fourth consecutive year that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has crossed state lines for its convention. The past three years, the convention for delegates from South Carolina's NAACP branches was in Charlotte, N.C.
"We decided that we would shift the convention from North Carolina this year because of some scheduling conflicts (in Charlotte), and, of course, Savannah is a very attractive site for meetings," said Dwight James, the NAACP state executive director. "It's in one of the border towns to South Carolina, and it seemed like a natural fit, and we hadn't been in the Lowcountry for a while."
Mr. James estimated that 700 people would attend the convention and that a fifth of them would be Savannah residents invited to participate. He said convention attendance ranges from 700 to 1,200 people. The highest attendance is in odd-numbered years, when state officers are elected.
At Savannah State, Cynthia Buskey, the director of administrative affairs and special assistant to the president, said school officials look forward to the convention.
"I think it's wonderful that they're having it here," she said. "The organization is very active in this community, so we're very excited about hosting them. Of course, we love opportunities to show off Savannah and our campus."