The African American Cultural Center is a 501(c)3 human services agency providing cultural, educational, and social services to children and families. The vision for the Center is to be a nationally recognized institution that provides creative guidance and support for youth in the Arts, and where people will obtain economical, educational, and spiritual services and resources to assist them in improving their quality of life as productive citizens in society.
A man who never stopped dreaming
for something better.
The President's Pen
These are the thoughts and writings of Lawrence Lombard that he wrote throughout his career as President of the AACC. Although he isn't here to physically witness the building of his efforts, his voice rings true in spirit, and we will publish his works here for public reading. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Disclaimer~ These are His writings, not anyone else. Because he founded the organization, it only seemed fitting that His thoughts be shared on his page.
A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me." Is that true? No! It certainly is not true! Names can and do hurt us. Words can be very powerful. Spoken words seep into our minds, into our subconscious and then into our consciousness. We are conditional and become what we think. Certain words that have been used to label particular races as a whole, are used as derogatory terms. They may imply uneducated, ignorant, or second-class/lowest form of a man. These words symbolize prejudice, hatred, and racism. How can we accept this as okay? We cannot, and we must not! If people continue to choose to use disparaging words, even if used as a joke, it is still, in reality, a racial slur to that particular race. If we simply say it does not matter, or it is used in general terms as a slang, then we are fooling ourselves. The historic demoralizing characterization of certain words should not be allowed to continue. In the new world, we as a society should not allow the acceptance of its use among our people, let alone as a whole. Especially our young people. The fact our youth have given certain words new meaning and expression to some of the old derogatory words of yesterday does not change anything the imprint on our hearts and minds, and is wrong. The attempt to desensitize these words by its common usage is not acceptable. Regardless how some words are used, it will always mean the same thing. A rose by any other name... is still a Rose. Using disparaging terms among our youth sugarcoats the obscenity and falsely justifies its usage. We have desensitized our minds to accept many things that were not easily accepted many years ago. We should not allow that which is morally destructive to be justified in our mainstream way of thinking in today's society. As we dip in our walk with a stature of pride, let us also walk with a stature of self RESPECT!
-Lawrence Lombard, AACC Founder
Lawrence J. Lombard, Sr.
Lawrence was born in New Orleans, Louisiana 1936. He attended St. Joseph's school, Seattle Prepatory, and Garfield High School. He was an all-around athlete, excelling in football, basketball, and track. After high school, he enlisted in the United States Army serving a full term. After winning many awards in the restaurant business, and running a successful landscaping business, he began the African American Cultural Center when he and his wife settled in Kent, Washington in 1997. Lawrence was a great visionary. He was a trailblazer, and always fought the underdog and empowerment of individuals. Struggling with undiagnosed ADD and dyslexia, he fought to beat the labels placed on him as an African American. With his motto, I Can, he beat cancer, becoming a walking miracle having survived with one lung for years passed the expectancy of his life. He went on to write poems, songs, newsletters, and to speak in front of many large and small audiences about overcoming fears, and doing whatever it is one's heart desires to do, and making a difference in the lives of youth.
Lawrence had a list of firsts. To list a few, he was the first manager, and African American manager of the Space Needle Restaurant, and Golden Lion restaurant at the Olympic Hotel, and managed the leading high-end restaurant The Carvary at SeaTac Airport, a position that few, if any, African Americans held in the 1960's. He was the first African American to receive a letterman jacket, and the All City Award. While at Garfield, Lawrence began the very popular Five Checks Quartet, who were at the leading edge of the rock and roll explosion in the Seattle Area. He was also the founding member of The Bon Temps, a social group comprised of African American male leaders, that was recognized as "The Club of the Year" for their community involvement. Lawrence spent the remaining of his life pushing for the betterment of African Americans. He lived by the scripture, God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and self-discipline. 2 Tim. 1:7
Lawrence Lombard, Sr. Founder, and AACC President 1997 - 2011