By Andy Ross

Killeen Daily Herald

Although there was plenty of food and warm greetings to be found at the Killeen Branch NAACP Jubilee Day Celebration Friday night, the message being delivered was meant to be hard hitting.

The annual event, which serves to honor the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and freeing of the slaves, was held this year under the theme, "We Are Riding On Their Dreams."

With that overriding idea, featured speaker Tyffany Howard told the audience that it was time for black Americans to "live courageously" and "look ahead, not behind."

A local attorney who has held various prosecutor's jobs around Texas, Howard said there are too many black Americans failing to believe in themselves and their own abilities to become self-sustaining and successful members of society. "We haven't reached our potential," Howard said. "We are a great people who are missing the mark. We've forgotten because we've listened to people tell us who we are and let them define who we are. Free your mind and take your rightful place in this society and be who you are: great people."

Further emphasizing the theme of the evening, Howard told the audience that they must work harder to take advantage of the freedom and equal rights earned through the struggles of generations past.

"We are running out of time," she said, "and some of us are not aware life is passing through our hands and we are loosing opportunities that cannot be regained riding on the dreams of our ancestors. The ride is over."

On Monday, the Killeen Branch NAACP will host a Martin Luther King Jr. tribute following the Killeen Youth Council's annual downtown march, beginning at 10 a.m. at Killeen City Hall.

Contact Andy Ross at or (254) 501-7468. Follow him on Twitter at KDHeducation.

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