Civil rights activist, the Rev. Michael Latham of Renaissance Baptist Church addresses problems of pastoral leadership in the city. In this seven part video series, coupled with articles in our print edition, he talks about a number of issues, including sexual impropriety, fiscal misconduct and support of immoral behavior by other pastors.
Hakim Muhammad gives personal insights into the taboo subject of white supremacy, a concept that’s hardly ever discussed openly in the Fort Wayne black Community.
To make a long story short, we have been taught a system of fear and intimidation from the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and the different mechanisms and psychological methods that were perpetuated on us during our sojourn to America. This has been an ongoing theme from generation to generation where we fear the loss of a job, position or title in order to have things. We sacrifice what is in the best interest of us as a people for us to be really free and have the same equal rights and mandates of other people.
As you can see today, we have blacks coming together. The more we do this, the more and more people will come out. This is the beginning of what’s about to come. Blacks are starting to stand up, we’re getting more educated and young people are seeing what the streets are doing and they’re not liking it. Don’t get me wrong, we have rotten apples, but even with that, there’s help with them. Within all nationalities, there are rotten apples who commit to violence and do the things they shouldn’t do. But, I see hope for us. I see us coming up.
Our community needs to come together to understand that it’s the next generation that we need to look out for. Teaching them how to communicate with each other as well as how to mingle with other races. But, I think what Frost does is bring about communication through the newspaper. If it wasn’t for Frost, our community wouldn’t be able to communicate within itself about different activities that go on within the African American community as far as successes, education, entertainment and positive stories. I’m really proud to be part of Fort Wayne and have Frost Illustrated as part of my life.
Eric Hackley: What have you learned today while being here at the Frost picnic?
Ticamarie: I’ve learned that don’t hate people, love them and you can learn things from new people.
Eric Hackley: You have been consistently saying that blacks need to pull together, speak out and express themselves. Over the years have we made any progress in that capacity? James Redmond: No! Perhaps, very minute. Very few people will speak out and I don’t know why that is. Some are afraid of screwing up their jobs and livelihood. Even when you have a job, you should speak out when right is right and wrong is wrong.
Some blacks are afraid to speak out because of their mental enslavement and unwillingness to participate in community activities. I think it’s a shame that we have blacks like that here in Fort Wayne. I feel sorry for them for living in fear. I make it a point to attend everything about black people because I like to know what’s happening.
Despite some criticism of clergy organizations such as the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, the Rev. Michael Latham said such organizations are needed if the community is going to thrive. “There needs to be a group of pastors that meets together on a regular basis to discuss our community spiritually and what can we do together as African American Christian leaders to decide what we ought to do,” said Latham. He said those clergy need to pray together regularly and then act on their faith once God sends guidance to the group.
I’m DJ Polaris and I was born and raised right here in Fort Wayne, Ind., in the mid ’70s and I was always surrounded by music because my parents always played it. They had everything from R&B, blues and soft rock, since hip hop was just starting, so they played the classics