Official portrait of U.S. Rep Jim Clyburn Credit: Public Domain photo

The NAACP honors Majority Whip James E. Clyburn with the prestigious Spingarn Medal at its 113th Annual National Convention in Atlantic City. Governor Murphy, Jamie Harrison, and 9 members of the U.S. Congress were in attendance, including Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty, Vice Chair Steven Horsford, Parlimentarian Sheila Jackson-Lee, and Chairman of the Education & Labor Committee, Bobby Scott.

The Spingarn Medal is a gold medal awarded annually by the NAACP for the highest or noblest achievement by a living African American during the preceding year or years in any honorable field.

“I am pleased beyond measure and humbled to receive the Spingarn Medal, the NAACP’s highest honor. The history of this award speaks to the work done for over a century to ensure the American dream is made accessible and affordable for all her citizens,” said United States House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn. “From the moment of being elected president of my NAACP Youth Council (Sumter, SC) at the age of 12, I was taught that we all have roles to play in our nation’s pursuit of perfection.

“I look forward to living long enough and serving well enough to prove myself worthy of joining the ranks of previous Spingarn Medal recipients that include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Justice Thurgood Marshall; and my good friend, Congressman John Lewis.”

The award recognizes Whip Clyburn’s tireless work to advocate for voting rights and protect our democracy, especially during this past year of countless attacks on the most basic rights.

Whip Clyburn’s advocacy and public service has been instrumental in protecting the rights of Black and other marginalized communities in America. Previous Spingarn medal recipients include Cato T. Laurencin, Mrs. Daisy Bates (Little Rock Nine), Myrlie Evers-Williams, Earl G. Graves Sr., W.E.B DuBois, George Washington Carver, Charles Drew, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesse L. Jackson, Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Cicely Tyson, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Quincy Jones, and the Honorable Nathaniel Jones.

“Whip Clyburn’s contribution to civil rights is extraordinary,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP. “From championing rural and economic development to advocating for the restoration of historic buildings and sites on the campuses of historically Black colleges and universities, Whip Clyburn has been at the forefront of advocating for Black communities and helping to create a more equitable society for decades. The NAACP is proud to present Whip Clyburn with our highest recognition.”

Majority Whip James E. Clyburn is the third-ranking Democrat in the United States House of Representatives. He currently serves as the Chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, as well as the Chairman of the Rural Broadband Task Force and Democratic Faith Working Group. In his nearly three decades of service to South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District, Majority Whip has become a national leader and has been integral in ensuring the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and responds to the multiplying crises impacting Black communities nationwide.

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