by Louis ‘Hop’ Kendrick, For New Pittsburgh Courier
A couple of weeks ago, I was in attendance at the traditional dinner sponsored by the Pittsburgh branch of the NAACP. Were you in attendance? If not, why not? Have you ever been? If not, why not? The question was asked of those in charge as to how many persons were in attendance at the Human Rights Dinner and the answer was 400. Someone asked how many are members, and the answer was about 160—the balance are guests of those organizations that buy tickets yearly.
I was not stunned nor shocked because the years that I have spent in the NAACP have provided me with the understanding that membership in the NAACP has been in constant decline. The guest speaker, Al Sharpton, spoke at length about the multitude of problems that Blacks and the NAACP are confronted with, but was at a loss about answers to them. One of the most valid situations that he referred to was an individual who told him that he alone was responsible for obtaining a significant position solely by himself. Sharpton responded by reminded him he was not alone. The NAACP had made it possible for him and untold numbers of other persons.
There was a period of time that we loved and would go the extra mile to participate in the NAACP, but something has gone wrong with us. Do we fail to understand that much has changed but too much remains the same? For example, a program was developed 37 years ago, it was supposed to ensure that Blacks were to obtain contracts. It has been A COMPLETE FAILURE. Statistics don’t lie but statisticians do. Unemployment, lack of affordable housing, drugs, violence, etc., still saturate the predominately-Black neighbors.
Mark Brentley called the radio station the other day when the station was discussing the former St. Clair Village becoming an orchard. Mark asked, “Is that more important than a discussion about what happened to the hundreds of families moved out of St. Clair?”
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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