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I am an active member of New Destiny C.M.E. Church and our current pastor is Rev. Kornelius Edward Neal. The current title of this column is based on a recent sermon he preached, and in my personal estimation it was right on target. The following names are persons who are perfect examples. The great Nelson Mandela was asked by the officials in South Africa to publicly state that he would not resort to violence to free his people, and if he wouldn’t, he would be imprisoned.

Mandela could have had life and would not have been imprisoned, but he refused, and was imprisoned for 27 years. Yes, it was not easy, but it was worth it. History records that Mandela, upon release from prison, became the first Black to become President of South Africa. It is impossible to name or count the persons, males or females, educated or uneducated, who challenged the bigoted racist system that attempted to stifle us as a people, and the price they were compelled to pay. Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, they paid the ultimate price, their lives, it was not easy…but it was worth it.

Paul Roberson, Muhammad Ali, Harry Belafonte…all three challenged the corrupt system that threatened to devour Black people. Once again, it was not easy, but it was worth it. Those persons fought a system that was void of compassion, caring, or concern when it involved living or working conditions when it pertained to Blacks. A lesser people would not have survived, but somehow, our grandparents, parents, neighbors and friends managed. It was definitely not easy, but it was worth it.

On a personal level, I was FIRED four times from political positions, because I sought to make a difference. It was never easy, but it was always worth it.

Frequently, I have engaged in conversations about my feeling that too many of us are so reluctant to challenge WRONG, particularly if the wrong is committed by their employer. They generally state they have families, want to buy a car, house, send children to college, and it is totally unfair for me to expect them to risk losing these opportunities.

My answer is, “It is not easy, but it is definitely WORTH IT.”

(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier.)


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