LOUIS 'HOP' KENDRICK

LOUIS ‘HOP’ KENDRICK

There are some weeks that I find it difficult to write my column, but this week it was easy.

Last Thursday the Pittsburgh NAACP held their annual dinner and it was a successful affair. The guest speaker could have been NAACP President Connie Parker’s double; she addressed the same issues that Connie constantly focuses on. Nina Turner, the speaker of the hour, was an educator, former Ohio state senator and a minister. She lectured and delivered a sermon as she admonished us, challenged us, praised us, reminded the young that the older soldiers had and are still making a contribution. The older generation was reminded that the torch of liberty does not belong to them, but must be passed on.

At the conclusion Turner received a standing ovation, but my leg had been bothering me and I had difficulty rising from my chair to clap. One person misread my not rising as a sign of not agreeing with the speaker, by asking me, “You were not impressed with the speech?”  My instant reply was “did you not see me clapping,” but I realized that answer was not sufficient.

I then said, “The speech was excellent but I have heard it a number of times over the years.”

I am disturbed that the need exist in 2016 to echo the same message. For example she mentioned registering to vote, voting, smart voting, obtaining a membership in the NAACP, being involved in every aspect of our children’s life, reinforced the overwhelming need for Black persons to do whatever it takes to become an integral part of the American Dream. She spoke about the deplorable number of Blacks in the penitentiaries across this nation and unemployment. I am positive that a tremendous number of persons in attendance may have heard the speech for the first time, but to me one of most disturbing factors is that the speech in 2016 is still relevant.

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