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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Leroy Kennedy

Thanks for Listening : William Leroy Kennedy Thinking Back

"A church my dad, John Kennedy, built in Florence, AL" William Leroy Kennedy


I like taking a historical look back at the thoughts that have impacted my life and the world. Early on, I thought about ways to improve the lot of Black people in America and the world. My late 1940s Northwest Alabama observance of how we were treated compared to white people was definitely not fair.

Fortunately, I did not have to work for white people while growing up because my folks had their own businesses. I began busting suds (washing dishes) at Jack's Chicken Shack cafe at age eight, then started my carpentry career a year later. Oh yeah, my mom set up for me to work for the parents of her employer's wife. After helping them for several hours, they paid me with some (excellent) used clothing and one, let me repeat that, one dollar. I asked my mom never to subject me to that again.

My thoughts were molded by what was happening in my surroundings and what I saw at the movies. The contrast played mightily on my mind. You see, I went to the movies three times a week, the feature changed twice a week at the Colbert Theater, then I went to our "Colored" theater every Saturday. Even the people in the "Colored" movies lived better than us.

Another significant impact on my thoughts was that my dad spent all of his World War 2 time doing military construction in San Francisco. So naturally, he picked up the language and other positive traits from his experiences. So naturally, I tried to talk like him, saying things like "sure" instead of "shore" as the other Blacks around me spoke.

While I was good in most of my school subjects, I went out of my way not to outshine my fellow students because some teachers graded on a curve where the highest score was an A. So if I made 100s, others would get on my case. If I had it to do over, I would have encouraged my mates to do equal to or better than me.

Because of my movies and dad-influenced speech, students at my Texas college thought I was from California, not Alabama. In fact, most of my closest college friends were from California, and somehow, I became the go-to organizer of things good and evil. Come to think of it; my siblings are also natural organizers with excellent follow-through.

One of my key strengths has been finding ways to improve things, so much so that I received criticism for being a company man when I only intended to better all of my tomorrows than all of my yesterdays.

Over my life, I have tried to figure out the best ways for me to positively impact the plight of Blacks in America and the world. Finally, I settled on providing education strategies and tools. So my ministry for the past two decades has been enlightening students, parents, schools, colleges, and other entities concerning education being our way forward.

Thanks for listening!


William Leroy Kennedy

Former Financial Services Professional at Kennedy Group, Ltd. – Financial/Motivation

Studied ‎‏‎Architectural Engineering‎‏‎ at Prairie View A&M University “Giving a strong recommendation: Khan Academy for educational succe

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