San Francisco-As Black History Month led into Women's History Month, it gave pause for me to note two women who've passed into eternity. As their lives are celebrated, I keep in view that death is an enemy, an enemy the scriptures say and I believe will be conquered and destroyed. In the meantime I thank God for medical accomplishments, caution and foresight that keeps the last enemy at bay. And what do I say to these things having too recently been personally affected by the death of greatly beloved Brenda Wright, my brother Joe's wife and longtime Caltrans employee. I put the Holy scriptures with promises of life in my view as I gaze back in the rear view mirror of time and long to have spent more intimate moments with loved ones lost to me for the time being. My hope sustains me.
I got word from community chronicler, Johnnie Burrell of International Media TVthat Dr. Julia Hare had passed and community leader Barbara Cohen confirmed that news. Who could forget Dr. Julia Hare, who could raise the hair on the back of your neck with her steely on point quips?
"State of Black America Tour!
|Dr. Julia Hare "tells it Like It, T-I-S...Tis!"
Moderator Tavis Smiley was blown away most of the time she opened her mouth. He had a hard time containing this philosophical fury. Dr. Julia Hare put fire in fierce.
There was one man in her life that did not try to contain Dr. Hare and that was her husband, Dr. Nathan Hare, co-founder with her of the National Black Think Tank. In a husband, she had what she wrote about, how to find and keep a BMW, "A Black Man Working." They co-authored a book with by that name. Not only did they write "How to Find and Keep a BMW, A Black Man Working" they wrote and co-authored many other books as well.
Of the men in her life, my heart sank as I thought about Mikael Wagner, founder of public relations firm, "Promotions West," whose conversations about her from time to time over the years, affirmed she was a for real leader, "tough but fair." Dr. Hare was a "Black Leader," not a "Leading Black." She warned that there is a difference.
Mikael saw her close up when she took him under her wings at KSOL Radio Station in the days before it became a Spanish language station...before my time here in the Bay Area; but I've seen glimpses of the former R&B power of that station and its positive force in folks like Shelly Tatum that affirmed it was a great place of creativity. A great deal of its legacy can be pointed back to Dr. Hare, who wrote the book on local community service.
Mikael, thanks for the tribute to Dr. Hare, a life well lived, Dr. Hare. We sing your praises on earth, but not as loud as the heavens. Services will be 11 am at Third Baptist Church, 1399 McAllister Street, San Francisco, 94115, where Dr. Amos Brown, President of the San Francisco NAACP is Senior Pastor.
Many powerful women have been noted throughout March. Speaking of powerful and being taken under a leader's wings, I think of one of my Red Cross mentors, Norma J. Tucker, whose life was celebrated in January. The sad news coming from fellow Red Cross leaders Cortés Saunders-Storno (Retired PG&E Executive) and Joan Kelly Williams (Retired Red Cross Employee), two phenomenal woman whose accomplishments for community are intertwined with Norma Tucker in a symphony of service with Norma Tucker as lead soprano in their cantata of good works.
The former Merritt College President was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter when Roger Dickson was Chief Executive Officer, leading the Bay Area Chapter as one of the most exemplary innovative chapters in the nation. Dickson was more than talk when it came to leading the organization into real diversity. Norma Tucker's Chairmanship was just one example. The chapter's annual MLK Day Celebration was instituted on his watch and opened the door for Asians, Blacks, Latinos and women to have key executive leadership roles.
Volunteer leadership is fundamental and essential in the American Red Cross... Norma Tucker was a wise compassionate servant leader who helped Dickson stand strong amid some tough times. As he retired, Norma was positioned to strategically lead the organization in a national search that yielded the chapter's first and to date only Black CEO, Harold Brooks, managed with accolades, the $16 million organization at that time, before taking on a role to head the International Services Department of the National Red Cross Headquarters in Washington D.C.
Ms. Tucker will always be be in my heart and the hearts of those who knew her. The college president kindly touched the lives of many drawing out the leader in all who were blessed to experience her quiet fierce power. Cortes, thanks for your tribute to Norma J. Tucker on Facebook.
She was responsible for making award-winning leaders. May those who knew you Ms. Tucker pay tribute to your leadership by helping others become award-winning leaders. My American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter Tiffany Award for Management is thanks to your mentorship. I cry missing you. I cry celebrating you.
Since penning this tribute, San Francisco has lost yet another well-respected community leader in Patricia Coleman, daughter of the first African American doctor in the Bay View Neighborhood of San Francisco.
Wright Enterprises extends condolences to all who may be experiencing a loss at this time.