When the Hill House held a press conference a few weeks ago to announce they were in a critical financial situation and were compelled to divest themselves of a number of properties, the question arose once again, what do we do for ourselves? Do you remember when one of the funders who was presenting a check for the reopening of the August Wilson Center was overheard asking the question, what do these people (Blacks) do for themselves? It is a valid question.
It is a question that I often asked when attending meetings and too frequently, the response is, we don’t have any money, and they got it all. I remember when the Kingsley Association opened their new complex; there were about 35 of us who pledged to raise $100,000 directly from the Black community. We were partially successful because we did raise $45,000 and then we broke up as we frequently do.
The ongoing question is valid—what do we do for ourselves? There are a multitude of Black organizations that have the potential to raise funds for worthy causes that have the potential to improve the quality of life for us. It is currently a belief of mine that we must raise sufficient funds to support a Black candidate; a person that we will truly be able to claim is our candidate. It is mandatory that we raise a war chest of at least $200,000 for a Black candidate, thereby allowing the candidate to not owe his soul to either political party but be a person of independence and they can really be OUR CANDIDATE, THE PEOPLE’S CANDIDATE.
As I travel across Allegheny County, I often point out to whomever is riding in the car that there is another major company that was created with taxpayers’ money, and that is the same opportunity that Black persons seek. We must come together and create a force that represents our families and us. Until the Black family is stabilized and provided with equal opportunities we will always be asked the question, what do we (Blacks) do for ourselves?
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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