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Byrd to addres Niagara Movement centennial

August 15, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

HARPERS FERRY, W.VA. - U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd will participate in Thursday's opening ceremony of the 100th anniversary of the Niagara Movement at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, his office said Monday.

Byrd, D-W.Va., is expected to speak during the opening ceremonies, which begin at 3 p.m., Byrd officials said.

The Niagara Movement was founded in 1905 by a group of black men led by W.E.B. DuBois, J.R. Clifford and others.

The organization's 1906 meeting, the first in the U.S., was held on the campus of Storer College, now part of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

The Niagara Movement set the stage for the creation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The Niagara Movement Centennial at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will run through Sunday and will include a re-enactment of the landmark 1898 West Virginia civil rights decision; musical performances; exhibits; and appearances by Juanita Abernathy, widow of civil rights leader the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, and Hall of Fame baseball player Monte Irvin.

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"The NAACP is an engine for positive change in America - and is one of the most effective engines around," Byrd said in a news release Monday. "From the beginning, a powerful vision of equality and freedom has guided the organization. I look forward to taking part in the opening ceremonies for the Niagara Movement's centennial."

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