Magazine article The Crisis

Hazel Dukes Is Still Marching

Magazine article The Crisis

Hazel Dukes Is Still Marching

Article excerpt

Longtime NAACP member Hazel Dukes says that in today's political climate, she can understand why some people are afraid. However, they have the tools to fight back.

"I say, 'Look, [President Donald] Trump is there, but we can trump Trump, so that's what we need to spend our energy and time doing,'" says Dukes, 86. "What we've got to do is, we've got to participate. Not just sit down and wring our hands and say, 'Oh poor me and woe is me.' That's not where we need to be. Advocacy means that we've got to get out and work.... You see wrong, speak out about it. You see injustice raising its ugly head, cut it off. Stand up if nobody else is standing up. You're in the NAACP."

Ifs the same unbeatable spirit that has propelled Dukes, president of the NAACP New York State Conference, through decades in the organization. Dukes says she was drawn to civil rights work listening to her father talk about the way things were back in her birthplace of Montgomery, Ala.

"When I got older, I understood that it was about race and racism and I guess being the only child, and my mom always said I was my dad's child," Dukes says. "Understanding it as I got older made me want to be a part of action, movement."

And Dukes has been part of the action for more than five decades. In fact, she still participates in marches, protests and demonstrations in her fight for justice for all.

As president of the New York State Conference, Dukes overseas 56 branches. She is also a member of the NAACP's National Board of Directors. …

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