Across the nation, we have just concluded the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and he was truly one of the great ones.
However, I am somewhat disturbed about the possibility of an over-emphasis being focused on MLK to the extent that the indication becomes that MLK was the only Black man to play a great role in the quest of Black people for equality. There have been an unbelievable number of Black men who fit the category of great contributions. It goes without saying that all of these persons may not have been virtuous men, but the scripture clearly states, “there are none perfect, no not one.” We generally fail to enlighten ourselves, family members or others about these persons who, in conjunction with MLK, made gigantic strides in America.
I have put together a partial list of Black men who played gigantic roles in Black lives in Pittsburgh. There was Robert L. Vann, owner of the Pittsburgh Courier; Medgar Evers, A. Phillip Randolph; Thurgood Marshall; Congressman Rev. Adam Clayton Powell; Marcus Garvey; Malcolm X; Booker T. Washington; Jesse Jackson; Colin Powell; and the millions of Black men who answered to DADDY.
There are and have been a great number of organizations across this nation that have played integral roles in the improvement of our way of life, and I will list just a few.
The oldest civil rights group is the NAACP, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference), and SNCC (Student Non-Violent Citizen Committee).
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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