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Twelfth Annual Convocation, Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, 1976
Sheraton Hotel

Theme: OIC, Light of Hope for America

OPPORTUNITIES INDUSTRIALIZATION CENTERS OF AMERICA

A REVIVAL OF INTEREST HONORING GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER is underway in at least four major cities spurred by Community Relations Representatives of Gulf Oil Corporation. It began during Carver Week in January where the National Achievement Clubs, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., presented the 32nd Carver luncheon begun by the late Alma Illery who also persuaded Congress to honor Carver with a week, a coin, and a postage stamp. Rev. Leon Sullivan, founder of Opportunities Industrialization Centers, Inc., was the main speaker, bottom left photo by of the late Dr. Illery, and right, with emcee David Crantz, WTAE-TV, Mrs. Arte-

SICKLE CELL DISEASE FOUNDATION AWARDS PLAQUE TO SOMERSET IMPORTERS - John E. Heilman, 2nd right, president and chief executive officer of Somerset Importers, Ltd., is shown accepting a handsome, engraved bronze plaque from Dick Campbell, center, executive director of the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation. 

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The Long Journey from the back of the bus (Continued)

After the boys came home from Europe in 1919 - there was no way the establishment could keep them on the farm so the great migrations to urban centers continued.

A. Phillip Randolph formed the Pullman Porters Union in an effort to protect the opportunity of some of us to be employed on the railroad. A West Indian, by the name of Marcus Garvey, who, like W. E. B. Dubois, who helped in the formation of the NAACP in 1910, thought that Negroes should control their own destiny.

The establishment fought Garvey and had him deported from this country because he was adjudged too radical for them. Who ever heard of Blacks wanting to read and write and controlling their own money?

Negroes, too, like everyone else, suffered when the stock market crashed in 1929 and a great depression came over the land. Herbert Hoover, our leader at the time, was nominated for President of the United States by Roscoe Conklin Simmons, the great Black orator of his day. In order for Brother Simmons to do his stuff, he had to reach the convention floor by coming down to it from out of the chicken coop roped off section for Blacks at the convention. 

Then a man named Father Divine came on the scene to help us. He followed on the hub of Negro Renaissance of the twenties when Negro Culture advanced under Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, James Weldon Johnson, Arno Bontempe, Aaron Douglass, Rudolph Fisher, Jean Toomer, Paul Robeson, Todd Duncan, marion Anderson, Dorothy Manor, and Ann Wiggans Brown. 

Also during the depression Negro Jazz came into its own and Wilma Dobie has written a fine piece in this issue.

In 1933 a man named Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected President of the United States and things really began to change for blacks.

President Roosevelt fell under the influence of his wife, Eleanor, and a Negro lady named Mary McCloud Bethune. 

I knew both ladies well, Mrs. Bethune because she made it possible for me to go to Morehouse on NYA scholarship, and Mrs. Roosevelt because I covered her exploits for the Atlanta Daily World and the Maroon Tiger, the Morehouse College Newspaper.

Mary Bethune was our patron saint - and Fred weaver has written two pieces for his document on the Roosevelt years and the Truman years. 

Harry Truman will be remembered as being one of the real great presidents of this land because of his deeds. (See The Truman years.)

President Eisenhower, who followed him, will be remembered because he sent the troops into Little Rock to dsegregate the Little Rock schools.

Then came the Age of Camelot or the regime of John Kennedy. Camelot was preceded by Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott and the advent of Martin Luther King.

President Kennedy and his brother Bobbie will be given credit - for helping our Civil Rights struggles during the turbulent 60's. 

During the year of Camelot, modern day activism came into being, namely the SCLC, CORE, Muslims, Black Panthers, the Sit-Ins, the Wade-Ins, the Freedom Rides, the election of Blacks to high state, Federal and local political offices; the election of Black Borough Presidents; Black Mayors of Cities; our advent through Whitney Young of the Urban League into the Board Rooms of the American Corporate world; and a march on Washington led by Martin King who had a dream. Then the assassinations stilled the voices of some great leaders. John Kennedy was truck down in Dallas, Texas. Martin Luther King was killed in Memphis, Tennessee, and Bobbie Kennedy was killed campaigning for office in California. 

John Kennedy was followed by Lyndon Baines Johnson and Blacks further benefitted.
Under Johnson, as under Truman, Negroes received some fruits for their labor. Johnson was buttressed by the working of Adam Clayton Powell and his House Committee who passed more laws into actuality for human and civil rights in eight years than were placed on the books in 200 years. Johnson was a great President for blacks.

After Johnson came Richard Nixon, who tried in his first four years to turn back the clock and put us again in peonage.

Operating from a pattern of "benign neglect" designed by one Daniel Patrick Moynihan (who just finished making a fool of himself -this time at the N.U.), teaching the world how to treat blacks. Nixon did nothing to help Blacks, So Blacks organized and reacted.

Several Black Caucus conventions were called; the Black Caucus, an organization of Black Congressional persons was formed. Some Blacks were elected Mayor of large cities like Newark, Gary, Atlanta, Los Angeles. Then finally came the Watergate in which a Negro guard started the downfall of a President of the United States.

After Mr. Nixon came Gerald Ford and here we are to date. 

I am deeply indebted to Langston Hughes who did the original research on Negro history which was published by the Crown Publishing Company. I am indebted to Ebony Magazine; the Bellweather Press for their Negro Almanacs which were edited by my good friend Dr. Plotski and Ernest Kaiser. I am indebted to my friend and neighbor, Mr. Frederick Weaver, great grandson of the Negro abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who wrote Roosevelt and Truman eras for me; John Wesley Dobbs, Grand Master of Georgia State Masons, who delivered the speech on Crispus Attucks at the 1960 Shrine Convention, Mr. Christopher Edley, Executive Director of the United Negro College Fund; Mrs. Jean Hudson, Curator of the Schomburg Collections, whose files I ransacked. 

I am deeply indebted to Miss Ida Lewis, Publisher of Encore and World Review Magazine for allowing me to reprint the piece on
I am indebted to Mr. Earl Graves of Black Enterprises Magazine for allowing me to reprint Romere Bearden's piece on Black Artists. 

I am indebted to Mr. Thomas Hoving, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who employed Mr. Allen Schoner, Mr. Reginald McGee, Mr. Donald Harper and Mr. James Vanderzee, to produce "Harlem on my mind", an exhibition on Negro contributions of Harlem life which Tom Hoving presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1968. 

And last, but by no means least, I am indebted to the general press, Amsterdam News, the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library for affording me the material herein gathered.

I would like to close this by dedicating this bicentennial edition of Delegate to the memories of the late Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson and my daughter, Patricia, whose idea it was from the jump to produce. 
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