I am downtown frequently and on occasions I venture into the courthouse and witness the staggering numbers of Blacks in the courtrooms, and I would think that based on that deplorable situation some Black attorneys would go for a judgeship. You get weary of the ongoing excuses: I don’t have any money. It is a given to run an effective campaign its takes money, organization, and sometimes name identification, but there is plenty of time to address these issues.
Too many of our brothers and sisters have wrapped themselves in those worn out blankets of excuses. There are periods of times that I get confronted with when will you understand that Blacks here don’t care and never will? My response generally is there is too much undone work, someone has to say something.
There are several other reasons I can’t sit down. 1. Those of you who read the column and stop me in the streets, churches, funerals, parties, barber shops and other places and say to me, “Hop stay strong.” 2. It is tremendously inspiring to me as I read about those proud and determined Black men and women who challenged the system to pave the way for you and me.
John Rock, a Black man who had a degree in dentistry and medicine, went back to school and in 1861 obtained a degree in law. In 1865 John Rock was the first Black person admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. Atty. Rock in one of his speeches stated, “Blacks entire lives have proven us to be superior to the influences [racism, bigotry] that have bought to bear upon us in an attempt to crush us.”
Belva Lockwood, a Black lawyer in 1879 was not just the first Black woman to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, she was the first female. She also made history by running for the presidency of the United States in 1864 and again in 1888. The National Equal Rights Party endorsed her.
Those of you who are attorneys, please read several times about the courage and conviction demonstrated by the above two giants and then ask yourself, why don’t you run.
As we approach Black History Month take time to research the unbelievable numbers of Black men and women who rejected excuses.
In 2013 please make a commitment to Kingsley Association.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)