Ronald B. Saunders Project
Saunders Family Archives
August 2, 2013
The Mister African American Program was created, founded and directed by Mrs. Jean Bryant who is the founder of the Miss Black Teenage Pageant. Mrs. Bryant is a retired Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter who has received many accolades and awards for her community involvement and contributions.
The Mister African American Program was a comprehensive seven-week mentoring program which involved intensive learning, preparation and self-improvement. The young men were exposed to what amounts to two months of private school education which consisted of study of the Ten Commandments, ancient African history and the contributions of Blacks in
U. S. history. The young men also interacted with positive Black role models from the professional community. They rehearsed the skills that helped them become more confident, competitive, polished and poised.
The former contestants in the Mister African American Program who received scholarship assistance from the Program, are now working as doctors, lawyers, school teachers, ministers, actors, entertainers, scientists, businessmen and in other fields of endeavor.
Ronald B. Saunders was privileged and honored to have worked with Elbert Hatley and LaMont Jones, Jr. as the co-coordinators to the Mister African American Program which was a very important vital community program. Other contributors to the success of the Mister African American Program were: Lonita Ross, Business Administrator and Jean Anderson, Assistant Administrator for the program. Volunteers for the Mister African American Program were: Charlene Grigsby, Josephine Hatley, Gwen Moore, Carolyn Toney, Earlina Williams, and Veronica Williams.
Elbert will be greatly missed by all whose lives he impacted in such a positive manner.