Voice of the People: ‘State of Black Community’ ignores real issues

March 3, 2019 GMT

Dear black community: Why I feel the “State of the Black Community” was nothing more than a political hoax.

A leader with vision has a clear, vivid picture of where to go, as well as a firm grasp on what success looks like and how to achieve it. But it’s not enough to have a vision; leaders must also share it and act upon it.

Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric Co., said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

We must move from the realms of evasive abstractions, “The state of the Black Community″ cannot be reduced to the myopic view of a few. The “State of the Black Community” was never seriously addressed because the platform wasn’t intended to address the issues or concerns of the black people but rather to adorn and ornament an underlying self-serving counterproductive agenda under the guise of “The State Of The Black Community.


What the “black community″ needs to know, is that everyone that purports a black purpose ain’t really a black advocate or black ambassador. It is not the melanin in your skin that makes you black but rather the black spirit that lies within you.

All our color ain’t our kind, and all our skin folks ain’t our kinfolks. The black agenda should not be an exclusive agenda but rather an inclusive agenda, if it doesn’t include the black community, then it really promotes black disunity.

If that gluttony of a meeting (held Feb. 16) wasn’t a classical violation of the Open Meetings Act, I’ll shut my mouth. There were at least seven members of the Kankakee City Council present, including the mayor, addressing city issues and no opportunity for public speak out, just a few comments from the audience at the end?

This is at least the third “State of the Black Community” meeting that I have attended. In each of these “State of the Black Community” meetings there exist no clarification of vision, no identification of purpose, no creative concrete goal, in fact there was not even a tangible forecast for the future of the black community in the City of Kankakee. Remember when you are pointing fingers at preachers, civic leaders, or other public servants in the black community, your thumb tends to point towards the real culprits.

In closing, if and when a future meeting referencing “The State of the Black Community” is held, I suggest the following: first, include a variety of black leaders throughout the black community versus just selective city council members; secondly, adopt the S.M.A.R.T. resolve to goal setting; if you went to college or leadership training you should be familiar with this concept; S-(be) Specific, M-Measurable, A- Achievable, R-Relevant and T-Timely. Finally, if the “State of the Black Community” meeting does not address, enhance and/or resolve issues in the black community, do not refer to it as “The State of the Black Community!”


The Rev. Robert S. Ellington-Snipes

President of the African American Improvement Association

Kankakee County Board member