The last two award-giving programs that I attended were a real blessing because all of the awardees were definitely deserving. They, as individuals or  organizations, have proven conclusively that they have more than rap, they have a map.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the 10 deserving people who received awards from the Allegheny County Black Political Assembly. The program was a tremendous success, and the guest speaker, Rev. Johnnie Monroe, was on fire—and received a well-deserved standing ovation. He did not just RAP about the multitude of issues that threaten to devour our communities, but presented a MAP.

On June 21, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Alpha Alpha Omega Chapter Pittsburgh, Pa., presented nine organizations and individuals Supporter of the Village Awards. The individuals were Mr. James Addis, Mr. Cory Fulton, Dr. Williams Simmons, Dr. Rahman Hart, Allegheny County Bar Association, Allegheny County Department of Human Services Department, Three Rivers Adoption Council, University of Pittsburgh-Investing Now and Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh.

Over the years I have attended an untold number of affairs where people were recognized allegedly for services rendered, and many of us in attendance would make comments at the table. The time is now that we must reject the rap. Just think how often you have listened to speakers recite the company line, and they privately say, “What do you expect of me? I need my job. I have a family.”

We rap about how few Blacks run for public office, how few Black men attend church, how many have been incarcerated, how many are unemployed, how many are not at home with their families, how many sell and use drugs and last but not least how much the current churches fail to reflect the churches of our parents and grandparents. The time is long overdue for us, all of us to develop a map. If when you read this column and say, “he is definitely not writing about us, because we are active,” then keep doing what you are doing. This column applies to those of us who have fallen short of the mark, and you know who you are.

Please remember to send a financial donation to Kingsley Association.

(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum page.)



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