How often do you hear the expression, “They won’t allow us,” and it is spoken by educated and uneducated men and women. If they had had a father like mine, they would understand that “can’t” should never be a part of your life or vocabulary.


The truth of the matter should be, we have the potential to become whatever we aspire to become.

The Black community must put everything into perspective, for example, the most positive occurrence as the result of segregation was it compelled us to become entrepreneurs and patronize Black-owned businesses.

There was a story a few weeks ago that a local restaurant was accused of not hiring Blacks. That should not be the end of the world, because I recall we patronized our own eating facilities across this country and I never saw a White employee.

I am constantly reminded that Blacks are the only people in America that sued White folks to accept our money. Our sons and daughters, who have degrees, are having difficulty obtaining employment—maybe it’s time to become a businessperson.

There are a number of reasons that Black businesses are not as numerous as they once were, but a major reason is that too many of us got too sophisticated. The Black restaurant’s food was too greasy, too many spices; the clubs (long before the guns) allowed too many everyday people to frequent them; churches holler “Amen, Hallelujah,” speak in tongues, etc.

Black churches number in the hundreds and all are located in communities where they are surrounded by unemployment, inadequate schooling, drugs and deplorable conditions that send the message that if there is any positive change as the result of the pastor and congregation, it must take place inside the four walls of the church.

There are untold numbers of Black men and women who are definitely qualified to run for political office but we spend all our energy and time supporting candidates who don’t look like us and don’t care about us.

Too many Blacks demonstrate more concern about the black and gold than they do about the family’s welfare.

I cannot recollect a period of time that the Black community ever convened a meeting where all of the four Black Pittsburgh School Board members were present. It is a rare occasion when Blacks attend a meeting of the school board, city or county council and these organizations assume that Black voters are not concerned.

Do you know who your elected officials are starting with committee people, ward chair people,  city or county council people, state representatives, state senators or congressmen?

Are you aware of the fact that Western Pennsylvania has never elected a Black state senator or congressman? Are you concerned enough to enlighten yourself or your family about the political history of Blacks, who have had the concern and commitment to run for public office? If not, why not?

We must begin to know our history: who were the two Black men who ran for sheriff, Black woman who ran for lt. governor and last but not least, the three men who ran for mayor.

The time is long overdue for Blacks to cease being concerned about them and focus on the historical fact that we were not born their slaves, but are descendents of kings and queens.

(Louis ‘Hop’ Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum page.)

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