History of the Talbot County Branch of the NAACP
Early in the year of 1949, the late James F. Stewart was invited to speak at Water United Methodist Church in Oxford, Maryland. Among the many challenges he presented was the need for a Talbot County Branch of the NAACP. Having been invited to speak by the late Gertrude Water, she readily accepted the challenge and contacted Dr. Lillie Jackson in Baltimore for information
On May 8, 1949, the late Dr. Lillie Mae Jackson, president of the Maryland State Conference of Branches, NAACP Lonnie Branch, Herbert Gardner and many citizens from the county met at Waters United Methodist Church. Fifty members were needed to organize a branch and the following persons bought in fifty-one members: Gertrude Waters, Gertrude Chase, Thelma C. Alford, Clarke Trippe and Royce Wells. Officers were elected and installed. They were President, Gertrude Waters; Vice President, Thelma C. Alford; Secretary, Dorothy L. Small; Assistant Secretary, Carson Brooks, Treasurer, Gertrude Chase; and Chaplain, the Rev. Mrs. Sarah Austin.
Membership in the county has grown over the years. The Talbot County Branch has consistently met its membership requirements as established by the National Office and State Conference Office.
Locally, it has served as a force in the Advancement of people. Among the many successful endeavors are the removal of the “White” and “Colored” signs from the public restrooms of Memorial Hospital , the removal of patients from the basement level who were there in segregated wards, the participation in the first bi-racial committees in the county speaking out for supporting peaceful integration of public schools, and filed suit against a local motel owner for public accommodations which was successfully won.
The Talbot County Branch has received several awards from the State Conference of Branches and the National Convention. In 1991, the Talbot County Branch won the Bill Cosby Life Membership Award for Life Membership and the Golden Heritage Award. These awards were presented on July 10, 1991 at the National Convention.
Our records show that the Freedom Fund Banquet has been held every year except in 1984. Each year the branch identifies an outstanding speaker for the banquet. Some of the speakers we have are as follows: State Senator, Verda Welcome, Congressman Parren, Mitchell, Benjamin Hooks, Carl Snowden, Congressman Elijah Cummings and Former Chief Judge of Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Robert M. Bell.
Since 1989, the Talbot County Branch has honored many individuals from the community for their achievements in their career and community service.
This Branch has a very rich history. We will continue to build upon our History and revise it periodically to add additional information that has not been noted.
Talbot County Branch
National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People
Rev. James T. Roberts
Mrs. Ruth T. Taylor
Mrs. Catherine Turpin
Rev. J.W.C. Davis
Rev. E.A. Hughes
Walter W. Black Jr.*
Rev. S.A. Beard
Thelma Alford – 2nd Term
Rev. Hester Opher Johnson
Rev. Edgar Carter
Hayward Turner – 2nd Term
Jennifer Dashiell Reed
Rev. Joseph Henry
A. Roscoe Fields
Walter W. Black Jr.*- 2nd Term
Daniel G. Higgins, Sr.
*Served as Branch President & President of Maryland State Conference of Branches