The print media, radio and television, daily focus on negative incidents that too frequently involve Black people. This column is about being positive. And all the people are Black.
A couple of years ago, Brenda, who is known in the business community as “Big Mama,” opened a take-out restaurant in the Strip District. There were plenty of naysayers who said she was wasting her time. She had difficulty borrowing money, but constantly talked about her faith in God and His ability to sustain her and her ambitions. Today “Big Mama” has enlarged her business operation with a 100-seat restaurant on Liberty Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. She is a proud, talented, spirited and grounded Black female, who refused to accept “can’t.”
In the Hill District, on Wylie Avenue, a youthful Black opened a restaurant, Grandma B’s, in a neighborhood where you couldn’t buy a cup of coffee. The food is good, the staff polite and a couple of people prepare the food. In fact, there is a young 40-year-old chef named Al who impressed me tremendously and not just with his culinary skills. Al is an experienced chef committed to using his skills to help the restaurant grow and become a major fixture in a desolate community. He is a single parent of a son and daughter and both are doing exceptionally well. The family are devout churchgoers and Al constantly talks about a woman that he describes as the finest woman in the world. Her name is Elaine, but to him it’s momma. He openly discusses his love for momma and his children.
Ministers remind us that we should never think so heavenly that we forget about being earthly. Do you hear people say “how much they love God” but fail to speak to their next door neighbor?
The Muslims remind us that “knowledge is light and you can’t stumble in the light, but ignorance is darkness, and you are prone to stumble in darkness.”
The nation is experiencing a financial crisis and there is an overwhelming need for financial literacy. On the local level we are very fortunate to be provided with a golden opportunity to get our financial house in order. This is Financial Literacy Month and Your Sister’s Project is presenting one of the nation’s leading authorities on helping us with our financial problems. Who is the person? Her name is Glinda Bridgforth and she has been featured on CNN and “Oprah,” in the USA, Ebony and Essence and is the best-selling author of “Girl, Make Your Money Grow.” She will be appearing April 24 between 2-5 p.m. at One Hope Square, 1910 Centre Ave., Room 304, Hill District. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For more information call Your Sister’s Project, 412-77-3358.
After 16 years, Milton Raiford, an elder at Petra International Church and chief administrator of Imani Christian Academy, is once again attorney Milton Raiford. I spoke to him last Sunday and he said “God is good.” His return to the legal profession will be a definite plus for the people.
Please remember Kingsley House.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)