Pittsburgh Courier, other Black newspapers were in vanguard of exposing racism! (Aug. 28)

by Louis ‘Hop’ Kendrick, For New Pittsburgh Courier

Over the course of my life I have been an avid reader. I started in elementary school and it progressed over the years. My interests covered a number of magazines and library books, and eventually all newspapers. At about the age of 12, I became a newspaper boy delivering the Pittsburgh Courier about 65 years ago. This was many years prior to computers, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc., etc. In that period of time if you were a newspaper reader there were two local daily papers, the Pittsburgh Press and Sun Telegraph.

These publications never carried any columns about the terrible acts of racism being committed across this nation daily. They could not afford to write about the terrifying acts of racism because they, themselves, epitomized racism. It was impossible for them to expose the acts of racism committed by the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, private industry and even religious institutions. They would not hire Black employees and had a contract with a teamster’s union that was proven by the U.S. government to be controlled by organized crime and would not allow Blacks to work at the newspapers.

There were families like mine that could not wait until Thursday, the Pittsburgh Courier would be coming out. The Courier exposed atrocities committed against Black citizens across this nation. The paper became the eyes and ears for Blacks across this nation and particularly here at home in Pittsburgh.

If you are familiar with the movie “Green Book,” it was a movie of deception, because it should have applied not just to Southern cities, but every Northern city including upsouth Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, and New York City’s segregated public school system was worse than Alabama and Mississippi.

There are those across America in every branch of the media who cover every cough, tweet and statement that President Trump makes. However, it is apparent to me that the overwhelming majority of coverage is more political than genuine concern. These persons have been effective in the Black communities as we spend too much time and energy thinking and talking about Trump and too little energy and time focusing on local issues that we can influence.

There was an occasion last week that I picked up a newspaper and six Black persons were being questioned about the plight of Blacks in the Pittsburgh area. Four of the six responded by talking about President Trump. I threw the paper in the trash can, because I had anticipated all six would reflect on the conditions throughout Allegheny County where untold numbers of gunshots are heard, unemployment at a record high, Black contracts are non-existing, and we refuse to place the blame on those who have controlled this city before Donald Trump was born.

If you are able to drive across the city of Pittsburgh, South Side, North Side, Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Strip, East Liberty, Oakland, etc., and witness OUR TAX DOLLARS at work…but none of us…don’t blame President Trump—blame it on those we have elected locally, COLORED and White.

It has never amazed me when persons on the payroll would state, “I need my job, I will do whatever I am told to do.” However, it is a tragedy when those colored persons who are elected state that “the Democratic Party comes before those who elected them.”

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


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