LOUIS ‘HOP’ KENDRICK
There have always been several questions asked by an untold number of people for a prolonged period of time. The questions are: “Who are the Black leaders,” “What are the criteria” and “Who makes the determination?”
It is clearly understood they run the gamut, but does holding any of the following positions by themselves put one in the category of leader? Politicians who are appointed or elected, CEO of for profit or nonprofit organization, senior minister of church, Imam of mosque, professional athletic, entrepreneurs, attorney, doctor, educator, PhD, radio or television personality, and last but definitely not least, father and mother.
I looked up Webster’s definition and it simply defined leader as a person who manages or directs others. But, in the context that you and I describe leaders, it takes on much more meaning. I would like to believe that the most important leaders are founded in the home, our parents. Are Black elected politicians automatic leaders or are they just an extension of the Democratic Party. CEOs of organizations that have created a number of jobs but have not made substantial positive change in their communities, are they leaders?
Too many Blacks, particularly males, idolize sports figures and see them as leaders when, in fact, the overwhelming majority of these persons are just highly paid athletes and nothing more than that.
There was a period of time when Black ministers stood in the forefront of leadership, from the days of slavery through the turbulent ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and then President Bush played them with money not from heaven, but Washington, D.C. Faith Based Initiative Funds.
If we are going to continue to describe Black men and women as Black leaders then it must be applied to those truly making a difference in our overall quality of life. When you look in the mirror do you see a person with leadership qualities, if not why not? Those individuals who achieved the pinnacle of leadership were not necessarily born to be leaders, it was often thrust upon them. Who would have imagined that everyday people such as Swamp man Williams, Bowie Hayden, Texas and currently Carl Redwood Jr. would become household names because of their overwhelming concern about the Black communities?
Please remember Kinsley Association.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)