There have been a number of persons, male and female, who have functioned in leadership positions. But only a few have worn the true mantle of LEADER. A multitude of persons find themselves in the role of “perceived” leadership position. Allow me to provide you with some examples. You are fortunate enough to occupy a high-profile, six-figure salary with a major corporation. Is your major function public relations (Black face with a title) or do you have a genuine impact on corporate policy?
There are a number of organizations that are funded by the foundations and the directors are referred to as leaders, and that title can be changed by simply stopping the money. The majority of these directors are better paid than their counterparts in private industry, and generally have a bigger responsibility because they have payrolls and overall responsibilities and generally a number of worthwhile programs. The leadership mantles are generally worn by politicians, preachers, persons employed at high corporate level positions, directors of funded programs…
Too many politicians are viewed by their electorate as leaders and they delude themselves as leaders. A number of preachers currently have more faith in the possibility of monetary funds from the government than they do in the Bible. There are a number of funded organizations of which their boards are comprised of members who are employed by major corporations, and it is my belief that these persons serve the interest first of those who pay their mortgage.
Over the last 30-odd years every body of government continues to have Black persons release statistics that indicate that Blacks in business are doing well. But those of us who know the Black businesspersons talk to these persons and they tell us that, “You can’t fool people with facts, but you can with statistics.”
Another example of little respect this city has for Black politicians…The five elected Black officials sent a news release about the police who killed the 17-year-old Black youth and the daily newspaper printed it on page 22.
They say we don’t vote.
They ask the question, “What do Blacks do for themselves?”
The time is now that we must begin to raise money and pay our way. We can do better than we do.
Omar, the poet, said: “If you go through life with your hand outstretched and your palm facing upward, you will always be perceived as a beggar.”
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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