A number of years ago a group of colored men (we were not Black then) were discussing the Pittsburgh Courier in a negative manner by referring to the newspaper as the “Black Dispatch.” There were those who were in disagreement with that description and stated as much, but the merchants of negativity were the most vocal. Mal Goode came in and after listening for a few moments stated in a very clear manner that those of you who vilify the Pittsburgh Courier have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Mal then proceeded to explain for those misguided and uninformed people, the important and significant role the Pittsburgh Courier has performed throughout the community and the Black community in particular.
He stated that, “The Pittsburgh Courier is the only media that highlights our positive accomplishments throughout the Black communities.” Mal began to expound on a number of examples: births, graduations from high school, colleges, armed forces, West Point, Annapolis, Red Ball express, Tuskegee Airmen, advancements in law enforcement and civil rights, exploits of Black athletes, activities of the churches and deaths. And he reminded all of us that the daily newspapers highlight and exploit our negative actions.
I am absolutely amazed, disappointed and even angry on occasions in 2011 when I encounter Black males and females who are confused about how they obtained the positions they now hold. They have limited knowledge of self, those who came before them and whose shoulders they actually stand on. They state they are too busy to read the New Pittsburgh Courier, don’t read any newspapers, and on too many occasions have stated they did not know the Courier was a Black-owned paper and did not realize it is a Pittsburgh paper. Then some have stated to me that they may buy the Courier when they or someone they know have their picture in the weekly edition, and some use the flawed reasoning that the paper does not come out regularly enough.
Too many of them don’t understand the driving role the Courier played in exposing the illegal activities and atrocities that were perpetrated against Black people that resulted into Blacks being denied opportunities to share in the American dream. It also exposed the killings, lynchings and overall destructive acts of racism and discrimination.
Yes it was the Courier that told the world that Blacks had limited opportunities for jobs, no promotions, and that segregation existed in the housing market, armed forces, cemeteries, sports, schools, public accommodations, and other deprivations.
And so don’t forget when you received that position at the banks, utility companies, government, and other corporations that your picture, your life story was only front-page coverage in the New Pittsburgh Courier.
Please remember the Kingsley Association.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)