NAACP president resigns
Franklin said he’s ready to focus on other issues besides education
The Rev. J.L. Franklin formally resigned on Thursday as local president of the NAACP Branch 6062, citing the need to focus on not just education, but environmental justice, housing, health and juvenile justice.
“We have all of these issues that we should be equally passionate about because they all represent our quality of life,” said Franklin, who served as branch president for most of this year. “Sometimes, some of us are so nearsighted that we’re focusing completely on education, and that’s just one of the units.”
Franklin, a long-time member of the organization, previously served as the branch’s vice president. He said the NAACP “is a great vehicle” to enact change and momentum in the areas of discrimination and injustice for African Americans.
“There’s so much more we can do and should do, but I commend and am grateful to have served them in that capacity,” Franklin said. “We tried to deal with many issues here at the front.”
Franklin said the local chapter had been “dormant” before he took on a leadership role. Soon after, its members took a stand for the Calcasieu Parish School Board’s R3 Zone and pushed for the removal of then-Superintendent Jude Theriot in the early 2000s.
“We did a lot of things in a short amount of time,” he said. “They know I’m not afraid to deal with issues that are passionate to African Americans. There are people who think it, but I say it.”
Franklin said his resignation will not stop his advocacy for human rights because it’s his “heartbeat.”
The next NAACP branch president will be elected in November.
“If they stay on the path, whomever that next leader is, I think the blueprint is there,” Franklin said.
The Rev. J.L. Franklin, Lake Charles NAACP president, stands with chapter officers and supporters.