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Al Stamps and Richard Middleton: The Yin and the Yang of Black Excellence

Barbara and Al Stamps

I am eternally blessed that my parents, my entire family, and my community taught me that there is not merely one way to be Black and that Black excellence manifests itself in a multitude of ways. Thus, while I’m sad to be commemorating two local giants, it’s only fitting that I honor them together as they are bookends of Black excellence. Al Stamps Sr. represents the Marcus Garvey/Booker T. Washington notion of the self-made, industrial man who uses his business not just to earn a profit but to feed thousands of Jackson State University students and all of West Jackson while being a blueprint of the benefits of Black ownership.