The Buzz

December 19, 2013

STATE HOUSE: William Barber to speak during 2014 King Day at the Dome weekend

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to thebuzz@thestate.com.

William Barber, the president of the North Carolina NAACP and on of the architects of North Carolina's "Moral Monday" protests, will be one of the speakers during the 2014 King Day at the Dome weekend.

The event, organized by the S.C. chapter of the NAACP, takes place on Martin Luther King Day in January. Barber, who was arrested and convicted of two misdemeanors in connection with a Spring protest at the North Carolina legislative building, will speak on Sunday during the event's kick-off service at Zion Baptist Church.

S.C. NAACP president Lonnie Randolph said he hopes to announce more speakers soon.

The King Day at the Dome rally is often a magnet for Democratic politicians, especially in an election year. The 2008 event saw speeches from then Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

But Randolph said he is hesitant to let politicians to use the rally as a platform to advance their political careers. He said this year's rally will focus on "injustice," specifically South Carolina's low rankings in health care and education, according to a study by the United Health Foundation.

"South Carolina has nothing for us to celebrate. Absolutely nothing," Randolph said during a news conference at the state NAACP headquarters on Thursday morning. "The highest ranking we have is No. 2, and I think that's for being the worst drivers in the country ."

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