THE PITTSBURGH COUNCIL OF MEN—Reggie Jackson, Ralph Robinson, Fred Parker, James Scott, Edward Charlie, Dan Brown, Lawrence Harris, David E. Moore Sr., James C.H. Williams, seated: Michael James, David Peek, Larry Victum, Ira Ritter Sr. and Don Trent (Photos by Debbie Norrell)


There are ongoing discussions at many levels about the negative actions of Black men. On too many days as we watch television oft times the first two or three newscasts are about Black men. There are too many people who view these people and it confirms their belief that all of us are hoodlums, thieves, and burglars and are not trustworthy. We must never forget that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not always described as a great American.

However, over the years I have been blessed to have been fortunate to meet Black men across this nation that epitomize positiveness. Some of them I have known most of my years and this week’s column is about one of them.

This past Saturday in conjunction with a 100 or more other people I was extended an invitation to Ira Ritter’s 80th birthday party. The home where the party was held was absolutely gorgeous, music was good, food was excellent, and all in attendance had a good time.

The highlight of the party was when his wife, three daughters, one son, four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter took the microphone to speak about their daddy, grandfather and great-granddaddy. From the oldest to the youngest the message was identical. “He is loving, caring, concerned and committed to his family.”

On the invitation they referred to him as “Big Ritt” and they told us how “Big Ritt” put the welfare of his family first. He instilled in them a sense of self-worth and the importance of family and obtaining an education.

There have been a few other times over the years that I have written almost an identical column about different men who were also positive Black men, but this week it’s Ira Ritter’s turn with a well-deserved public acknowledgement. Congratulations “Big Ritt”.

Please remember the Kingsley Association needs your financial assistance.

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



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