GREENSBORO, N.C. — There’s a changing of the guard happening in one of the oldest organizations in the Triad. The Greensboro branch of the NAACP has a new leader, and he’s the youngest to ever lead the organization in its more than 90-year history.
Rev. Bradley Hunt was introduced to the NAACP by his pastor, long-time Greensboro NAACP President Rev. Cardes Brown. The Greensboro native and North Carolina A&T alumnus went through the NAACP’s Next Generation program to train future leaders, worked on various committees at the local and state level, and in November he was elected as the branch’s youngest president ever at just 34.
“I see this as an opportunity to bring young people along, to hopefully inspire some young person to get involved, to really determine what is their passion,” he said.
He’s not your traditional NAACP leader. You’re just as likely to see Hunt in jeans and a T-shirt or hoodie as you are to see him in a suit and tie. This young leader has two goals. The first is to lead with energy and enthusiasm.
“The other part for me is how do we also bring along our elders with us and how do we take the energy and youthfulness of today’s generation and couple that with the wisdom and experience of our elders. I believe that is the formula to real transformative change… if we are able to have both dynamics at play.”
In a nod to the past, FOX8 met with him at the historic Magnolia House, one of the only hotels in the state where Black travelers could stay during segregation, including many celebrities. It also hosted NAACP conventions and meetings during Jim Crow.
Hunt says the biggest social issue on his radar today locally is economics.
“We have a Black district attorney, a Black chief of police, a Black sheriff, so we are in spaces now. We have access, and what I found is that although we have access, we still lack capital and the generational wealth component that allows us to adequately fulfill these spaces,” he said.
Hunt says his work is led by the NAACP’s mission: to ensure the social, political, educational, and economic rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.
“So the NAACP in 1909, you had Blacks, whites, men, women all come together for the purpose of creating a safe space for people of color, mainly Black people, in this country,” he said.
Like what he saw last summer as people from all backgrounds took to the streets to protest racial discrimination and white supremacy.
“It showed how important it is to build multi-generational, multi-racial coalitions that are working together,” Hunt said. “There has never been any social movement or any movement around civil rights that was solely Black. First of all, this country would not allow that, and number 2, white people have always given movements credibility. So we continue to push on our white brothers and sisters to engage these issues with us.”
Hunt says the work of undoing racism will require all hands on deck — especially people who have what he calls a high moral understanding. if you’d like to find out more about the NAACP’s work in the city, check out their Facebook page.