6 BOCNEWS.com MAY 2017 AreYou to Blame?Black Denver in the Midst of Catastrophe So about three years ago, I asked you a question do you remember. That question was would God consider you a leader; well I’m still waiting on the answer. The nuclear holocaust on Black owned busi- nesses has persisted without any hesitation or inter- ruption, from you or our so-called leaders, Preachers or Politicians. Here’s more of our cornerstone being eroded in the Black Community: ■ ■ Union Baptist Excel Institute and Academy founded by the Honorable Pastor A.L. Bowman ■ ■ Pierre’s Supper Club founded by Mr. Lawrence Pierre, Sr. a Louisiana business man While some of you may not recognize Union Baptist Excel Institute, however if you are intimately apart of Denver or Denver Metro you know about Union or Excel as it was affectionately called, you also knew who Pastor Bowman was and Mrs. Wilson, not to over look staff, teacher caretakers and a host of other sup- porters . This was the premiere elementary learning institution not only in Denver, but in the mid-west of the United States of America. (Proverb 22:6) Union was studied by every entity one can imagine, from the Colorado Department of Education to the US Department of Education to other religious enti- ties including the Christian Jesuits organization. The original Union Baptist Excel institute was a beacon of light amongst darkness, previous to charter school dollars being given out like a power-ball lottery. Union taught our babies to have a sense of pride, discipline, commitment and an ever-burning desire for learning. Learning of both Education and Godly morals and values, let’s be perfectly honest there has never been the support of Union that was due, but that didn’t stop the committed staff, teachers and other sup- porters. Union Baptist Excel Institute was a vision given to a Pastor and his flock and carried to success through determination, hard-work and a un-dying love for our babies of this community. “Many are called, few are chosen”. Unfortunately there was a scuttle-butt, after the death of Pastor A.L. Bowman, however it’s not worth mentioning the spirit of the, original Union Baptist Excel Institute has carried on for over 35years. While there may be impressionable knock-offs there was and is only one Union Baptist Excel Institute, founded by Pastor A.L. Bowman and Mrs. Vivian Wilson along with a host of others, leading by example, when it wasn’t easy or popular; giving our community light in the midst of darkness, taking on Goliath and having the spirit of David to persevere and succeed. There are no better fitting words, than “well done thou loyal and faithful servant” you will be forever in our hearts and equally in our children’s minds, God bless the memory of Pastor A.L. Bowman, Mrs. Vivian Wilson and the past and present teachers and staff. Speaking of Community cor- nerstones let’s talk about, Pierre’s Supper Club another pillar of the Black community gone. Pierre’s just one word kinda- like Jordan, McDonalds or Cadillac, one word that could invoked such stirring memories from the best catfish on this side of the Mississippi River to Happy hour’s that accommodated those tea-sipping Christians, to business meetings, and the most infor- mal, but formal business meetings; sort of like on the golf course if you know what I mean. You could go to Pierre’s and find our City, State and sometimes Federal representatives. Mr. Lawrence Pierre, Sr. has given so many people opportunities of employment to business opportunities and/or formal introductions. You knew you were at home, when you heard, "Hi- ya doin Boss" that came from a little man of not more than 5’6 in stature but a giant in our community. Let it be known that Pierre’s wasn’t just known locally, but nationally for their Catfish dinners and to find- ing those business connections and having them endorsed. Then there’s the other side, the social side. from having your first date, to the latest dance craze being strutted out on the dance floor. Watching the Bronco’s games or watching the Bronco’s come in to get some of that world famous cat- fish, sports figures and other celebri- ties all came to Pierre’s. Pierre’s where the common could meet with the uncommon and find out what they had in common, where everybody was treated like a star. Even more importantly, an institu- tion we could call our own. Here’s to you Mr. Lawrence Pierre, Sr. Cheers may God Bless you and keep you. (Deuteronomy 28:6) So while you’re reminiscing, let’s look at some important facts, Denver has become a more diverse city, in which we celebrate the inclusion, the unfortunate part is the diversity has been less than inclusive of the Black Business Community; in-fact it’s been downright obtrusive of the Black Business Community. (Mathew 25:40) Denver metro has grown from just over 1 million to over 3 Million in population; however there is a steady and intentional effort of closing Black businesses. Five-Points from 87% to less than 12%, Park hill from 20% to 5.5%, Stapleton and Northfield less than 2%, Montbello from 21% to less than 4%, Green Valley a disgraceful less than 2% with absolutely no owner- ship. Now since I last reported on this subject, Denver has grown in new businesses by over 17% which is huge growth for any city. Have we started holding our so-called leadership accountable? There has certainly been a strong resurgence of young white male business owners; maybe we need the same representatives they have. Continued on Page 10 By TH Mack, Sr., APM, NABJ TH Mack COMMUNITY