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LOUIS ‘HOP’ KENDRICK

Sunday, June 17 is recognized as FATHER’S DAY. On a personal level, I reminisce that in the year 1953 (65 years ago) my father was laid to rest with the church choir singing his favorite song, “I am on the battlefield for my Lord.” Daddy was a true soldier who lived by God’s greatest commandment, which is love. He loved his Lord, wife and family, church family, neighbors and doing God’s will.

The government and numerous grant-funding corporations have spent billions of dollars across this nation with an alleged focus of solving the multitude of problems that have taken a toll on poor people, especially Blacks. The Black family has been under siege for an extremely long time. The greatest problem is the splitting up of families. Too frequently, the man of the house of yesteryear was daddy, granddaddy, big brother, uncle, stepdaddy or friend of the family. There came a period of time that daddy was forced out of the house because he was unable to earn enough money to provide for his family and the welfare system increased your income if there was no man in the house.

It was extremely difficult for untold numbers of Black men to adequately provide for their families. The mothers, out of concern for their families, would be heard saying to the man in the house, “You don’t make enough to provide for the family, I will do better with a welfare check.”

In the current year of 2018 you can ride through neighborhoods and see no males, just young mothers. In certain sections of the city, you can see untold numbers of young men ducking the police, trying to get hold of that fast money. There were untold numbers of Black men of moral and physical strength that were determined to provide for their families. There were Black men who worked in the dangerous coal mines, the steel mills and spent their money in the company stories, but they had families to provide for. I recall Mr. Terry, who told me that he had several children and he would work two jobs. The second job was in Mt. Lebanon and he would most times walk to work so he could save a dime (10 cents) so his wife could put it in the saving jar at home.

However, there were Black men very similar to him who bought homes, sent their children to college, owned cars, sent down South and brought members of their family up to the promised land, because they were active members of our church, Carter Chapel C.M.E. (In those years, C.M.E. meant Colored Methodist Church.) They are all deceased, but I will always remember them. Of course there was daddy, Mr. Milton Kendrick, Mr. Supples, Mr. Blanding, Mr. Broxie, Mr. Connors, Mr. Bly, Rev. Woods, Rev. Crenshaw, Mr. Shives, Mr. Knox, Mr. Marbury, Mr. West, Mr. Booze, and Mr. Ransom.

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

 

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