by Louis ‘Hop’ Kendrick, For New Pittsburgh Courier
Over the years I can’t tell you how many persons who are Courier readers have stopped me and said, “I read your column regularly.” Then there are those who will ask, “Are you ‘Hop’ from the Courier?” Sometimes persons will approach me and state that they did or did not agree with my column from the previous week. However, the question most asked to me overwhelmingly is, “What is wrong with us?” (They definitely don’t ask that question nicely.)
My answer generally is, if I knew, I would correct them, but I know the problems that are the source of their concern.
Black persons comprise 14 percent of the population of Allegheny County, but the overwhelmingly majority of homicides are Blacks against other Blacks.
Black citizens suffer from a lack of decent and affordable housing.
Black citizens’ unemployment is and has always been a major problem.
The University of Pittsburgh did a study which they released a few weeks ago that concluded that overall conditions of Blacks in the City of Pittsburgh were so deplorable that they equaled the worst conditions of Blacks in any city in America.
Recently, the City of Pittsburgh hired 78 police officers and only three were Black.
The local governmental bodies have provided untold sums of money (billions) to White developers and contractors, the Blacks that have been able to share can be counted on one hand. I will list in the near future the number of contracts in every field in the city and county and also the limited number of Black-owned businesses—you will be shocked.
If we in the Black communities are afforded an opportunity to share in the booming economics across this city, it would enhance the rebuilding of the family structure and that would result in a positive in the field of education.
There must be a rebirth of Black leadership and Black leaders (there IS a difference) must stand up and stand out, religious and political.
An example of a leader is businessman Luther Sewell, who operates the oldest Black-owned business in the City of Pittsburgh, publisher of TALK MAGAZINE FOR 57 YEARS.
Luther Sewell founded the business as a youngster in the year of 1962. And it’s still going strong.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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