On Easter Weekend, one of the many groups fighting to stop the Black on Black violence in the streets, and at home, held its 7th Annual Homewood March for Peace, but without its founder, the late Rev. Eugene “Freedom” Blackwell.
Reverend Blackwell, founder of the House of Manna Ministries, began the march to bring people in the Homewood and surrounding neighborhoods together in peace and harmony, so they could get to know each other as humans instead of colors, gangs, or rivals in the street war over drugs.
He didn’t wait for the people to come to the church, he took the church to them on the streets.
Pittsburgh, through the New Pittsburgh Courier’s Stop the Violence campaign, has more groups and organizations fighting and urging people to stop the violence than any other city. While other urban cities are ignoring the critical issue of our young men being gunned down in the streets by each other, Pittsburgh, mostly through the efforts of mothers, grandmothers, relatives and other concerned citizens, have several marches, rallies, vigils and other events to bring attention to this massive problem, which is among the top things holding Blacks back in education, business and every other challenge confronting us.
Behind the efforts of Rev. Blackwell, the march had grown into one of the largest in the city, and it appears it will be around for a while even without him because the need for peace on the streets is still critical and, most of all, he made it clear that it wasn’t about him, but about the young people and the Black community as a whole.