NAACP suspends Hezekiah Jackson, Birmingham metro president pending investigation

Hezekiah Jackson
NAACP leader Hezekiah Jackson at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. [Photo Credit: AP | Jay Reeves]

The national office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) — the nation’s foremost civil rights organization — announced Wednesday the suspension of  NAACP Metro-Birmingham Branch President Hezekiah Jackson pending an investigation into allegations that he advised homeowners not to have their soil tested by the EPA for potentially deadly toxins, and that he accepted cash payments for engaging in this activity. 

On Sept. 7, NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson issued a letter to Jackson notifying him that his membership in the NAACP and his leadership of the Branch were being immediately suspended. According to the national organization, Jackson was directed to immediately cease holding himself out as a member of the Association and as President of the Branch.

Jackson released a statement Wednesday night in response to the claims:

After 20 years as a Black openly gay president of the Metro Birmingham NAACP and Chief Volunteer Officer, I have had to navigate the hostile waters of Sexual Orientation Discrimination for most of my life. I welcome the opportunity for a full hearing on this matter for which I expect to be fully exonerated. No one has produced any proof of my emphatically saying to anyone “DO NOT HAVE YOUR SOIL TESTED” or me being compensated in cash or otherwise to which I testified under oath before the Grand Jury in July, 2017.

Once I receive the notice I will answer and allow the due process to run it’s course; however, in the meantime I will remain at 1520 4th Ave. No. Birmingham, Alabama (former home to the NAACP) as my launching location for my new organization “Better Environment and Mo Justice” and to complete my memoirs, “To Kill the Bold Black Gay Boi” (A TELL ALL). I will turn my attention to unimpeded empowerment for myself and my people. I am at perfect peace and thank all those who have stood with me over the years and those who continue to do so.

Jackson claims he has not received a letter from the NAACP regarding his suspension.