NAACP will boycott S.C. for ninth year

ROCK HILL — The S.C. NAACP will go to Charlotte for its annual conference — extending for a ninth year the group's tourism boycott of the state, aimed at removing the Confederate flag from the State House grounds.

“Some people call it an anniversary,” said Lonnie Randolph, president of the S.C. branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People during a press conference today on the steps of the Freedom Center in downtown Rock Hill.

“I don’t call a tragic thing an anniversary. I call it an observance.”

The NAACP has asked groups to boycott the state since lawmakers voted in 2000 to take the Confederate flag down from the State House dome and move it to the Confederate Soldier Monument near the north entrance to the capital building.

Last month, leaders of the mostly black Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) voted to move its 2010 convention from South Carolina after the NAACP reminded them of the boycott. The denomination has about 700,000 members, mainly in the Midwest and central United States.

The NCAA, collegiate sports' governing body, the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference each also have honored the boycott by pledging not to bring any championship events to South Carolina.

The 68th annual NAACP convention and civil rights conference will be held Oct. 8-11 at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel in Charlotte, 2800 Coliseum Center Drive. It will include a job fair and symposiums on health care and education among other events.