Who will lead African–American community?

Although minorities make up over 25 percent of Spotsylvania’s population, they are not represented in the management or leadership within the county. There has never been an African–American member of the Board of Supervisors. There is no African–American judge in the county. There is no African–American on the Jail Authority Board.

Few, if any, African–Americans serve on boards and commissions. Some schools have only one or two African–American teachers. African–Americans make up less than 10 percent of the county’s Sheriff Office and less than 5 percent of the Fire Department.

The lack of African–American representation in leadership or decision- making positions is similar throughout the tri-area of Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg and Stafford County.

Throughout the history of this nation, there have always been African–American leaders who stood up and championed justice and equality for the downtrodden and for people who were unable or unwilling to stand up for themselves. African–American leaders in the past were forever vigilant, and moved with tenacity and courage to meet the challenges of their era to ensure that the gains achieved by their ancestors were secured and improved.

Have community members forgotten that Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. suffered and died for the rights and privileges they have today?

Has the African–American community become complacent? Has its most influential institution , the church, forgotten its role in the community and lost its will to stand up and defend fairness, justice and equality?

Has it forgotten that it is the light of the world and by its very nature breeds leaders of the community and the future?

So we ask: where are they? Will they stand up for fairness, justice and equality for everyone? Can we as a community count on them to represent us in the future or should we look to someone else?

Mozett Petway


Spotsylvania Branch of the NAACP

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