Voice: Les Franklin

Les Franklin is a longtime black community activist in Denver and the founder of the Shaka Franklin Foundation, which works to prevent youth suicide.

“Those who benefited economically from the godfathers’ efforts are busy with their careers and reaping the fruits of their predecessors’ labors. They’re looking out for themselves.”

One of the key reasons is that most of the civil rights “godfathers and godmothers” have either died or are so old they can no longer advocate for minorities.

Les Franklin

Les Franklin

The godfathers were watching over the community. Those godfathers don’t exist anymore, people like Hiawatha Davis, Bill Roberts, Alvin Caldwell, Arie Taylor, Rev. Wendell Liggins, Daddy Bruce Randolph, Ike Moore, Lauren Watson, Rachel Noel, King Trimble and countless others.

They were warriors, always fighting to better the lives of blacks through legislation, protest and fundraising. Very few minorities from the current generation have stepped up to fill their void. Those who benefited economically from the godfathers’ efforts are busy with their careers and reaping the fruits of their predecessors’ labors. They’re looking out for themselves. They don’t care what’s going on in the community. They don’t have the same passion about it.

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