LOUIS ‘HOP’ KENDRICK
Over the years I have frequently written that people stop me and suggest that I write a certain column, and generally I make a mental note of it and at a given time it may come back to me. At a meeting last Saturday a person in attendance made a response to a statement that too many of us put a dollar before doing the right thing. His very candid statement was, “those persons have families to feed and their job comes first.”
How often have you heard the identical statement? I’ve heard it too many times and in my estimation it has become a cop out. For example people by whatever means obtain a job and you make a suggestion to them how they can make certain improvements and they just take off. They are quick to say I need this job, got a mortgage to pay, or trying to obtain a mortgage, kids want to go to college.
We elect Blacks to a political office and overwhelmingly they reject the voters and follow the leadership of their political party, in fact they give or sell their soul to the party. It is clearly understood that all of us have certain responsibilities, but when do we begin to grow not just in stature, but also in purpose?
It upsets me to no end that so many of us really see nothing wrong with the lack of response from those who really could help others. Ask yourself do you know a person or persons who excel or excelled in living a life of true commitment?
Black History Month is upon us, and we will be reading about hundreds of committed individuals if not thousands. However the question is do you know anyone? On a personal level I have had the privilege of knowing at least a dozen, but in this week’s column I will only highlight two proud Black men who epitomize commitment.
The first is Bernard Jones, founder of Urban Youth Action, a program of great importance that accelerated the physical and mental growth of young men and women. Bernard’s second achievement of monumental and historic significance was the establishment of the first Black foundation in America, The Poise Foundation.
The second Black of commitment is Dr. Herman Reid. He is a devoted husband and father of seven children who left a position with the Pittsburgh School Board to become the CEO of NEED (Negro Emergency Education Drive). At that period of time NEED was in a stage of infancy, but through his effort, hard work, dedication and last but not least an unequaled sense of commitment the number of young people helped by NEED reached unprecedented numbers.
These two men made no excuses, because they were truly men of commitment.
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(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)