The history of America is inclusive of untold numbers of strong, committed Black men who spoke up in the behalf of their people. There was always the potential danger of being confronted with the loss of their job, denied employment or promotion, possible imprisonment and even the risk of being killed. For the aforementioned reasons and the fact that some men were afforded the opportunity to move up and out to the suburbs with golf clubs, and other suburban necessities, they became extremely reluctant to voice an opinion on behalf of those they left behind. I hear them everyday saying, “I can’t afford to risk losing my house, job, car, children attending private schools and remember they have to go to college.”
In my lifetime I proudly remember the booming powerful voices of Black men, such as Congressman Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Attorney and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Medgar Evans, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mayor Harold Washington and Malcolm X. They are all deceased.
On the local level I personally knew Mal Goode, Rev Cornell Talley, Atty. Byrd R. Brown, Harvey Adams Jr., William “Muggsy” Moore, Nate Smith, Bouie Hayden and Charles Kindle. They too are all deceased.
The death of these men has left an unbelievable void across the nation and particularly throughout the city of Pittsburgh. Black ministers at one time across this nation were out front in the fight for equality, but now you mostly read and watch Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton. The one Black religious leader that stands out and addresses the issues that threatens to destroy the Black man is Min. Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.
On May 19, there will be a commemoration of the birth anniversary of Malcolm X. It will be held at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Homewood) 2-3 p.m. The guest speaker is Abdul Akbar Muhammad who epitomizes a strong Black man, who speaks up. Akbar is a lecturer, historian and world traveler. Akbar also was a student minister under the leadership of Min. Malcolm X between the years of 1965-75. Akbar is currently the international representative travelling and speaking on the behalf of the Nation of Islam and the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)