Local leaders remember Colin Powell and the legacy he leaves behind


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – Two local black leaders remember Colin Powell and hope what he has accomplished in his life can be an inspiration for generations to come.

NAACP President Larry Gist and Reverend Bill McGill remember him as a pioneer of the black community.

“When the news broke on my computer my heart sank, I mean it sank to such an extent that I was personally attached to it,” McGill said.

“He’s been a trailblazer for all the things he’s done in the United States, especially because of his background,” Gist said.

Gist says Powell’s story can be an inspiration to young black and brown children across the country.

“He accomplished a lot of things and so what this says to our community and not just ours but people all over the world, that you can accomplish things if you set yourself the goal of doing it and that is what he did, “Gist said.

Powell was the first black national security adviser under Ronald Reagan and the youngest and the first African-American chief of staff under George W. Bush, and he came from humble beginnings.

“He was an average person, he wasn’t a scholar but he knew what he wanted out of life when he entered the ROTC and that’s what motivated him, he wanted to be the best soldier. that he could be and you could see how he accomplished what he did, “said Gist.

For Reverend Bill McGill, it is this tenacity of Powell that he believes will inspire others.

“I think it was Booker T. Washington who said that the true measure of an individual’s accomplishments really has nothing to do with where they are but where they started out. to political gains, ”McGill said.

He says Powell’s life journey is an inspiration to anyone who may need a boost to achieve their goals.

“He’s proof that yes the wrestling stays in America, that’s undeniable, but once you know you have to run faster, jump higher and be stronger you at least know what is needed to be successful. into the mainstream of America as we know it today, McGill said.

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