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Former N.C. NAACP Pres. Spearman dies

By Afrique I. Kilimanjaro, Managing Editor / July 21, 2022

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North Carolina, the AME Zion Church and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have lost an icon. Rev. Dr. Theodore Anthony Spearman has died. According to sources close to the family, Spearman was found dead inside his Guilford County home Tuesday evening.

Spearman was the immediate past president of the N.C. NAACP. He had been a member of the civil rights organization since 1963. Spearman was one of the original demonstrators at the Moral Monday demonstrations led by fellow past state NAACP president, Bishop William Barber II. Those civil rights protests at the N.C. legislature drew thousands of people of all walks of life from across the state. Those protests also thrusted both Spearman and Barber to the forefront of America’s social justice movement.

Prior to becoming president of the N.C. NAACP, Spearman served the civil rights organization as its third vice president. He was the former pastor of St. Phillips AME Zion Church in Greensboro and former president of the N.C. Council of Churches.

Spearman has been described as an advocate for the voiceless. He was an advocate for the African American community, the LGBTQ community, for women, for workers and poor people. Spearman often spoke on behalf of teachers and for increases in funding for public school schools. He advocated for affordable housing; worked tirelessly to help inmates turn their lives around; and advocated for criminal justice reform.

Spearman was a former member of the Hickory City School Board in Hickory, N.C. and he served as president of the Hickory Branch of the NAACP.

At the time of his death, Spearman was a member of the Guilford County Board of Elections.

More details on Spearman’s passing will be forthcoming. Be informed with the Carolina Peacemaker.




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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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