Friday, December 27, 2013

10 Black men who we said Goodbye to in 2013

(If I've got something screwed up on this list - charge it to exhaustion and not my heart...Bye...Bye)

In 2013 we said goodbye to a Cincinnati legend, William L. Mallory, Sr. We also said goodbye, although not because of death to several prominent black men who left a legacy, a bad taste in our mouth, at least one we applauded because of his abrupt exit, and one couldn't leave his post fast enough.
The top man on this list is probably kicking down from heaven at my head after seeing who I put him on a list with, or maybe not because he was a loving and kind man who will be dearly missed.

William L. Mallory, Sr.    Departed this life December 2014
Mr. Mallory was a Cincinnati icon. Period. When people remember him, they will probably think three things.  He spent his career in politics. He loved his wife, children and raised each to pursue the path to success, and he loved the community.
In 1966, William Mallory was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives. He spent 28 years as an Ohio legislature. He was the first African American elected as Majority floor leader.
He rarely missed an opportunity to mentor, provide guidance, teach or share words of advice.
“I met Mr. Mallory for the very first time about a decade and a half ago at some fancy party hosted by Melody Sawyer Richardson. I was with my boss and I surveyed the party for someone who looked like me, not black, someone who didn’t look like they came from old money and there appeared a well dressed black man looking like new money. He came up to me and introduced himself. We laughed and talked the entire night as if we were old friends.  I remember my boss asking me two questions: Did I know the man I was talking to and did I know who he was.  My answer was no and no. You see this gentle man was so unassuming and down to earth. Later I found out who he was and met his lovely wife. Over the years I’d run into them on occasion and his wife always pinched my cheeks and they greeted me warmly….ahhh sweet memories.” FBK
R.I.P Dear sweet Mr. Mallory
Mayor Mark Mallory    left office December  2013
In 2005 Mark Mallory became Cincinnati’s 68th mayor and he was the first directly elected black mayor in 50 years that was not a council member. In 2013, Mayor Mallory said adios after serving two terms.
Perhaps he’ll be remembered for the success of the Banks project and Cincinnati being dubbed the “trendy” city. He is a well liked politician, always impeccably dressed and could throw a mean baseball, well maybe  not.
He cared deeply about the young people community. I had the pleasure of serving as part of Mayor Mallory’s Young Professional Kitchen cabinet.  Also, his yearly youth job fairs were a runaway success.

Milton Dohoney    left office December  2013
Milton Dohoney was hired as the City’s Top Administrator in 2006 by Mayor Mallory. His laid back, stay out of politics style made him a very successful and level-headed visionary who focused like a laser beam on economic development.  He put together the following deals (Dunnhumby, the Banks, Eurostampa, Grater’s Medpace, Omincare. Nielsen). Those projects created over 4,000 jobs for Cincinnatians. He was instrumental in bringing everybody’s favorite upscale soul food restaurant -  Mahogany’s to the Banks. And he brought us Chief Craig.

James Craig     left office May 2013
James Craig was the first chief in the Cincinnati Police Department’s 200-year history to be appointed from outside the city’s ranks.  He began his career in the Detroit Police Department in 1977. Since then, Craig has worked in the Portland, Maine, and Los Angeles police departments.  When Craig was appointed Cincinnati's top cop in 2011, it ruffled feathers because he was African American and an outsider. Many either loved or despised him.

He was instrumental in launching a Citizens on Patrol in Avondale, for which I am a proud member.
In May Craig to become police chief in his hometown of Detroit, where he began his career.
Director Will Carden     left December 2013
It took lifelong Cincinnatian and 27-year city employee, parks director, just a few days to say a big Whitney Houston, “hell-to-the-nah” to the city manager’s job.  It took less than a week for this black man to withdraw his name after Mayor John Cranley appointed him. Here’s what he said, “I ain’t nobody’s yes man and if that is what Cranley thinks, then he has me (curse word removed) up.  I’m a keep my black behind right where I’m at.  I ain’t getting into Smitherman or Cranley’s mess. I ain’t taking a beatin’ from those clowns down the dial.  They can’t pay me enough!”
Seriously, here’s the  official statement, "After consulting with my family, we have come to the personal, private decision that it is best for me to remain as the director of the Parks Department," Carden said in a statement. "John Cranley is going to be a great mayor and this is a difficult decision for me. But it’s simply about what is best for me and my family. As a personal matter, I would ask that you respect our family's privacy."
Cecil Thomas     left April 2013
Cincinnati city councilman, Cecil Thomas stepped down from council in April.   He was term limited, and first elected in 2005. Thomas is a likable guy, but some believe he was an ineffective council member.  Lately, he’s receiving a lot of well-deserved praise for his work as Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the National Action Network (GCCNAN) position as chair of political awareness.  In that position he has exposed the misuse of drug forfeiture funds by Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters and he keeps the spotlight on exposing the politicians and media assassin who are gunning for the Honorable Judge Tracie Hunter. His strong and effective leadership skills around the Hunter case are the reason many believe he will be elected to the Ohio Senate.

Dusty Baker    got the ax October 2013
Good ole’ Johnnie B. “Dusty” Baker came to Cincinnati at the end of 2007. He led the Reds to three playoff appearances in four years. But he never took the team to the World Series.  In 2013 the team won 90 games, but after the 6-2 defeat to Pittsburgh Mr. Dusty got the boot.  He’ll be missed.
Odis Jones   resigned  July 2013
You probably have never heard of this black man. I think I heard of  him once on the radio. He was director of Economic Development for the City of Cincinnati since 2012.  He left his position shortly after James Craig to take the CEO position with the Detroit Public Lighting Authority.
It is reported that Jones was popular with city council members and the development community.
Dr. Ronald Jackson    resigned  November 2013
He arrived as Dean of Arts & Sciences in July 2012 and was gone by November 2013.  I’m not sure what the hell happened to the black man that headed up the college I graduated from, but reported allegations say he was the victim of crude and racist caricatures flyers that were distributed on the campus. At least two of the 20 faculty department heads sent a letter to administration calling for them to ask him to resign or be reassigned.  I don’t know what happened to the black man with the impressive resume.  He graduated from high school at 15.  He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from UC and joins the 2% club of people in the world (World) with a Ph.D.
Christopher Smitherman   resigns from NAACP Dec 2013

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  I was not a part of the group  that pulled the coup d’état on former NAACP president Edith Thrower.  However, I did become an Executive committee member during Smitherman’s first year and every year thereafter.  During the early years it was great to serve and make a difference in the community with the fiery Smitherman.  What happened? Chris Finney, attorney for the anti-streetcar (local tea party) group Coast happened and somehow the oldest civil rights organization in the country merged with the local hate filled group.  End of story.  In December a press release was sent out announcing that as expected, Smitherman was resigning as president of the NAACP turning over his post to a sexually charged, illegal immigrant.  Oh, boy.