Al Calloway’s column, “Is the NAACP dying in Florida…,” in last week’s issue was a bold move. To confront an issue of leadership in our community is too often thought to be a hands-off subject. But, right or wrong, we as a people who are targeted must continue to be vigilant about our progress and our leaders.
The column points out how the “passing of the torch” to our young has been nonexistent. Even training our young to be prepared for the torch is nonexistent. How will we develop new and young leaders when there is not place for them, except to pass out flyers and attend meetings and rallies?
Remember, the sit-ins of the Civil Rights era were started by 18- and 19-year-olds who no longer wanted to wait for change being worked on by the older generations.
The young wanted change now. For this reason alone, our leaders must find ways to include the voice of the young, not only when it is time to rally but also when decisions about actions are necessary.
The column, to some, may sound as a personal affront to the leader mentioned. On the other hand, I see it as a clarion call for the leadership to step up their game to include young people on a more consistent and regular basis.
Anyone who is observant can detail the problems with our young in schools and graduation and incarceration rates are increasing at a rapid rate. I am not saying our leaders are responsible for this increase. But, as leaders, they must be bold to implement solutions to deter this increase. This is the role of the leader Mr. Calloway spoke of and all the leaders of the
NAACP and other organizations working to improve the lives of our young, our people and our communities. My wish to Mr. Calloway is to keep the faith and continue to speak out on sensitive matters that are “hands off” to others.