LOUIS ‘HOP’ KENDRICK
On an ongoing basis, the conversation between Black and White folks is about Black leaders. Who are these alleged persons that are labeled Black leaders and what constitutes them as Black leaders? Are they truly Black leaders or generic? Black leaders are generally elected, appointed, self-anointed, sports figures, entertainers, rich, preachers, and successful businesspersons. It is amazing how often the drug dealers are thought to be alleged responsible Black businesspersons.
If a Black individual is elected to public office is that person a leader for those who voted for them or are they a leader for all constituents in their district? When a Black person is appointed to a position in government—generally by a White politician—does that make them a leader or just an appointee who answers to his employer? When a Black male or female forms a 501c3 and is fortunate to receive a grant are they leaders or self-anointed leaders? Sports figures and entertainers may be a leader in their profession, but that definitely does not make them a leader. Are those men and women, who are in charge of religious organizations of every faith automatically considered to be leaders? I don’t think so. There are Black men and women, who were endowed with entrepreneurial spirit and have done extremely well financially, but that does not automatically qualify them as Black leaders.
I am a strong proponent of Black leadership, because they demonstrate their commitment by their concern for the communities—us and not for themselves.
It is impossible to list all of those men and women during my life who have earned the mantle of Black leadership, so I will limit it to those who are living.
Alma “Speed Fox,” is a true champion for people’s rights Black, White, males and females.
William “Bill” Robinson, dean of Black politicians. Bill Robinson’s political defeat was partially his fault, because he made the mistake of believing that the voters would remember what he had done as a legislator, and he did not campaign in the custom he had done in prior races. Bill’s defeat primarily was the result of his releasing a report card that graded the Democratic Party on their absolute failure to hire over 2 percent Blacks to work on the two stadiums being built at the same time on the North Side. Pennsylvania Representative William “Bill” Robinson gave the Democratic Party a Red “E” complete failure. The Democratic leaders from Harrisburg, Allegheny County and the city of Pittsburgh issued orders that Bill Robinson must be defeated, and those colored politicians in the legislative district responded to old Massa.
Herman Reid, former CEO of NEED, dedicated his life to helping our youths further their college education.
Irvin Williams, born and raised on the Hill District, had a burning desire to help restore the Hill District. He and his wife founded Ebony Development and they accomplished something that had never been done nor duplicated. They built from the ground up two office buildings at 1801 and 1901 Center Ave. Both buildings were named appropriately 1801 Williams Center and 1901 One Hope Center. These are just four of an untold number of examples of proven Black leadership.
Please remember that Kingsley Association could use your financial assistance. It is another example of Black leadership. Originally it was a dream of some others, but it became a reality under the guidance of the Black leadership of the current executive director Malik Bankston.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)