LOUIS ‘HOP’ KENDRICK

Allow me to enlighten some of the readers about our lack of positive action over the decades and how it has translated into continued mistreatment of Black Americans, and highlight how much the need for moral and positive change remains. This column will focus on the city of Pittsburgh, which often is referred to as an Up South city.

In the 1920s, we were Negroes and colored and we began moving to Pittsburgh seeking a better way of life, inclusive of better employment opportunities, decent affordable housing, treated as first-class citizens, equal job opportunities, political jobs and positions that we were denied in the racist South, better schooling opportunities and overall better way of life.

Time goes by rapidly and now it’s the 1930s and the country is in the throes of depression. Colored persons who had registered were overwhelmingly Republicans, allegedly because they were grateful because a Republican, Abraham Lincoln, freed the slaves in 1863.

In 1936 colored voters left the Republican Party and flocked to the Democratic Party whose standard bearer was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I witnessed colored voters put FDR on a pedestal and equate him with the messiah, Jesus Christ. The Democratic Party in Pittsburgh has been able to depend, count on, and take for granted the colored voters who voted straight Democrat ever since 1937 (a total of 80 consecutive years). Colored Democrats have proven to be the most loyal and consistent bloc of Democratic voters.

Now it’s the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and colored citizens are still seeking mortgages, job opportunities, more access to unions, unemployment in the now-Black neighborhoods is staggering, lack of affordable housing. Blacks no longer vote in the percentages they once did, but they still vote straight Democrat.

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