LOUIS ‘HOP’ KENDRICK

I have never believed in coincidence when it involves detrimental action by those in positions of power toward Black citizens. From the time the first slaves embarked in America, there were those who sought to be free persons. Some were soft spoken, others prayed, and there were those who openly challenged being the property of another man.

Over the course of my 85 years, I have had the opportunity to participate and watch and listen to voices that attempted to make the kind of changes that would elevate Blacks to first class citizenship.

I will always remember those voices that advocated turning the other cheek and non-violence; it was not popular, but it was effective. We often write and speak about nationally-known Black persons, but ignore those who live in our own hometowns such as Pittsburgh. It is impossible for me to list all those Black boisterous voices that I have known in my lifetime. Webster defines “boisterous” as noisy or violence. My interpretation is totally different. My interpretation is a person who is outspoken, understandable, and knowledgeable. The late Mal Goode was the personification of what we no longer hear across Allegheny County.

There are an unbelievable number of Black men and women who have degrees, perfect command of the language, understand completely what the crux of the problems are, and what needs to be done to correct them. A number of these persons have done well financially, with expensive cars, beautiful houses, travel extensively, and I completely understand that they are not civil rights warriors. The number of persons and organizations that receive unbelievable, collective sums of money from the system, political and foundations can’t openly find fault with those people in positions of power. Too many of these persons frequently cheer for those in the seat of power when they made a positive movement, but never speak out when Blacks are ignored on a multitude of critical issues.

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