The president of the Virginia State Conference NAACP was abruptly dismissed and the civil rights group’s statewide “Listening Tour” has been halted in changes announced last weekend by the state administrator.
Robert N. Barnette Jr. of Hanover County is to immediately take the helm of the state NAACP, replacing the Rev. Kevin L. Chandler of South Boston.
Mr. Barnette was serving as the state vice president, as well as president of the Hanover County Branch NAACP.
Rev. Chandler was not planning to run for re-election.
The change is the work of Gloria Sweet-Love, the Tennessee State NAACP president whom the national NAACP appointed earlier this year to administer the Virginia affiliate.
She announced the change Saturday during a meeting of the state NAACP executive committee and then sent a notice to the branches around Virginia on Tuesday.
In her news release to the media, Ms. Sweet-Love did not mention her dismissal of two other executive committee members — Jesse Frierson of Richmond, who was removed as chairman of the state NAACP Political Action Committee, and state Treasurer James P. Boyd of Portsmouth.
Neither Mr. Frierson nor Mr. Boyd could be reached for comment.
The changes spotlight a continuing instability in the top reaches of the organization, which is impacting its effectiveness in the state. On Aug. 1, the state conference kicked off a statewide “Listening Tour” in Richmond to hear about the issues and concerns facing African-Americans and to come up with a plan for policy and political solutions.
The tour, announced by Rev. Chandler and Mr. Frierson, was to make stops in seven additional communities through Sept. 30 and then release a report later in the fall.
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Source: Richmond Free Press