When I think of the black leadership in Huntsville, Alabama two words come to mind and those words are toothless & useless. HuntsvilleBlack.com recently reported on the mayor’s monumental power move when it comes to the city judiciary system. He’s obviously “looking over” a well qualified minority for the position of presiding judge for one more to his liking. Where’s Huntsville’s black leadership while all this is happening right in front of them? While real world power moves are being made the black groups/leaders can’t even speak up or release a statement about this ruthless move. Their silence on this matter doesn’t offer future generations of leaders any hope and for that they should be ashamed of themselves. What do they really have to offer the community?

Black leadership in Huntsville, Alabama is for the most part a scam. These ole heads are not leaders in the black community they only occupy positions to boost their dwindling stature. All they’re doing in Huntsville (and the rest of the state) is occupying positions of leadership as some reward for some past work not of what they can bring to the table for the here and now. They are so swallow and dependent on these positions for stature and relevance. If this situation with the presiding judge happened back in the sixties/seventies I have full faith they would act. The problem for the community now is that they no longer have that ‘fire’ they had yesteryear. For the past 15 years or longer the leadership in the city has sought to have followers and have avoided the work of making leaders for the future. The most honorable thing that they could do is turn over these organizations to the next generation; one with better legs and enthusiasm.

Huntsville’s leadership is a perfect example of what happens when you have leaders/organizations who are more concerned with titles and stature. Anytime you have black leadership who’s more interested in how they look more than getting you results you’re in trouble. The black community in Huntsville, Alabama is in serious trouble due to a lack of leadership and cowardice. If these local politicians will not speak out for nor defend one of our esteemed own then what you think they would do for anybody else in the community? The black leadership in Huntsville is a harbinger for the future of this community unless we have drastic generational leadership change.

Huntsville’s black leadership crisis has been going on for a long time but I lay the current crisis where it belongs and that’s at the feet of Dr. Richard Showers. I know a lot of people will disagree but hear me out: When current councilman Keith reached out to Showers to sort of mentor him/advise him and help him transition Mr. Showers refused. Dr. Richard Showers missed a great opportunity and seemed like he wanted Devyn to fail; that’s unacceptable! Therefore, I’m saying that outgoing councilman Showers left Devyn alone with a now weakened Will Culver and at the ruthless mercy of the mayor with his ruthless intentional overlooking of appointing a presiding judge. We all know that or want to believe that Dr. Richard Showers would’ve spoken out about what’s going on right in our faces. He always championed himself for being a strong voice downtown so why didn’t he accept invite to mentor the current councilman? We will never know if Mr. Showers could’ve been an important influence on the current councilman or not but I for one sure want to believe he would’ve. Maybe the current councilman would’ve learned from Mr. Showers who rarely held his tongue on serious issues and this thing with the presiding judge is a serious issue.

In the end Huntsville, Alabama black leadership needs to do some soul searching but that can only be done if they first get out of their ego. Once out of their ego they just may see that it’s time for a generational change in leadership for Huntsville, Alabama. We got to give it to this next generation with their activism, enthusiasm, technological awareness and social networking. As a grassroots activist I operate on two things with the next generation and it’s also what the older generation of leaders need to do as well and that is to “trust” and “empower” and if the political elders can’t do that then we’re doomed. Doomed not because they can’t succeed but doomed because the political elders are not willing to give them a chance and the reason is almost entirely on their ego. The current councilman’s silence on this issue is strikingly similar to the silence of political elders on this issue with the presiding judge. The only lesson that the black leaders/organizations in Huntsville are teaching is one of silence when one of your own is under attack is to be quiet. I’ve also not heard one word about this from all the so-called and wanna be community leaders who always going live on FaceBook with issues concerning the community and this one surely does. Deborah Barros-Smith is the only one that I know of that has spoken out. Huntsville needs leaders because Black Leadership Matters and if they’re not in it to win it then they’re in it (leadership role) for their own selfish ego and there’s way too much of that going around these days in Huntsville, Alabama.

  • There’s a chance to see if there’s any hope of leadership returning to the community. That chance will come on August 8th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Downtown Huntsville (127 Holmes Ave. NE) and you couldn’t ask for a better place to test the “metal” of the newly elected councilman. Here are some questions you should ask of him:
  1. Is the city of Huntsville operating illegally without a presiding judge?
  2. Is Judge Cleveland qualified for this position?
  3. Has he entered into some type of process of changing how judges are appointed with the mayor?
  4. Does he have the slightest concern about how this delay has played out and what is his view on the “overlooking” of Judge Cleveland?
  5. Has he taken a position of silence on the issue of appointing a presiding judge and if so why?
  6. Can he be trusted to speak out about important issues to the community even if they’re at odds with the mayor?
  7. Who is more important to him the community or the mayor?

These 7 questions will reveal his metal fortitude when it comes to the community so ask him where ever you find him. He must not dodge this issue. Addressing this issue takes political guts! Huntsville, Alabama’s black community doesn’t need leaders who are toothless and useless. BLACK LEADERSHIP MATTERS!