Lifetime Achievement Award
The Rochester Black Men Achieve Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have either performed an outstanding service and accomplishment spanning a career, or who have made a lifetime commitment to serving the Rochester community. The award celebrates the impact of their work, life and legacy in our community.
The 2017 Awardees for Roc BMA Lifetime Achievement Award:
Dr. David Anderson
Dr. David Anderson, “Sankofa,” is a founding member of Blackstorytelling League, and of Akwaaba: the Heritage Associates — sharing African American lore with groups in 25 states and Ghana. Through living history interpretive performances, he underscores Afro-Rochester as a significant, continuous noble presence from 1817 to date. He is a Visiting Scholar at Nazareth College of Rochester.
Dr. Anderson is recognized for his incredible legacy and long-term contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of African American heritage, history and culture.
Heritage Associates — sharing African American lore with groups in 25 states and Ghana. Through living history interpretive performances, he underscores Afro-Rochester as a significant, continuous noble presence from 1817 to date. He is a Visiting Scholar at Nazareth College of Rochester. Dr. Anderson has worked with the Nazareth College Center for Service-Learning to engage students in reviewing the Underground Railroad freedom struggle as it unfolded in the Rochester region. Anderson chairs the Freedom Trail Commission, striving to make the personalities and event that characterized the Underground Railroad more accessible. Anderson crafts and performs living history reenactments, e.g., as Civil War veteran, George Brown; Rev. Thomas James (founder of Rochester’s 179 year old A.M.E. Zion Church), pioneer freedom fighters Austin Steward, Frederick Douglass, and other exemplars. Dr. Anderson is especially engaged in creating service-learning partnerships with local agencies serving youths and families. His living history reenactments recall the experiences of African American Union soldiers, collectively known as United States Colored Troops at schools, colleges, and at symposia throughout the United States. Anderson is a founder of Akwaaba: the Heritage Associates, Inc., interpreters of African American cultural heritage. He co-directed the 18th Annual National Black Storytelling Festival and Conference and was recipient of the National Association of Black Storyteller’s Zora Neal Hurston Award. Annually, he convenes the celebration of Kwanzaa in Rochester. PUBLICATIONS: Kwanzaa: an Everyday Resource and Instructional Guide (1991); The Origin of Life on Earth: an African Creation Myth (1992, Outstanding Children’s Book on Africa (performed as dance-theatre by Ashe’, 2000-2004); The Rebellion of Humans: an African Spiritual Journey (1994); and is published in Images Afro Rochester, 1910-1935 (1996); In Daddy’s Arms I am Tall (1994); and Jump Up and Say (1998). He is preparing a storybook on Rochester pioneer, Austin Steward, who spent 22 years in chattel slavery, before taking his freedom, and fostering, Afro-Rochester. EDUCATION: In 1975, he earned a PhD. in Educational Administration, The Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Assemblyman David F. Gantt
David F. Gantt has served since 1983 as the representative of the 137th Assembly District, which consists of the northeastern and southwestern sections of the City of Rochester and the suburban town of Gates.
A longtime resident of the City of Rochester, Mr. Gantt followed his mother, Lena M. Gantt, into a life of public service and community advocacy. This commitment to public service has included Mr. Gantt’s membership on the Board of Directors of the Baden Street Settlement, the Board of the Marketview Heights Association and the Board of Directors of the Anthony L. Jordan Health Center.
Mr. Gantt’s tenure has been marked by his concern for the development of affordable housing, health care and services for the young and the elderly; maintaining the safety of our state’s roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure; voter registration and education; and the promotion of minority businesses.
Mr. Gantt is recognized for his incredible legacy and lifetime of dedicated public service.
David F. Gantt has served since 1983 as the representative of the 137th Assembly District, which consists of the northeastern and southwestern sections of the City of Rochester and the suburban town of Gates. Born September 12, 1941, David Gantt attended Franklin High School, Roberts Wesleyan College and the Rochester Institute of Technology. His professional experience has included employment as a Youth Counselor for the City of Rochester, working as a member of Lithographers & Photoengravers International Union Local 230 and as an administrator at the Anthony L. Jordan Health Center. A longtime resident of the City of Rochester, Mr. Gantt followed his mother, Lena M. Gantt, into a life of public service and community advocacy. This commitment to public service has included Mr. Gantt’s membership on the Board of Directors of the Baden Street Settlement, the Board of the Marketview Heights Association and the Board of Directors of the Anthony L. Jordan Health Center. Prior to his Assembly election, Mr. Gantt served nine years in the Monroe County Legislature. There he represented the 22nd Legislative District, which includes parts of Rochester’s Group 14621, Marketview Heights and CONEA neighborhoods. While in the County Legislature, Mr. Gantt served as Assistant Majority Leader, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Finance & Budget Committee and Ranking Minority Member of the Human Services Committee. After initiating a federal redistricting suit that ultimately created the 133rd Assembly District, Mr. Gantt became the first black from Monroe County elected to hold state office. Always active in civic affairs, David Gantt has been honored by such organizations as the Upstairs Youth Agency, the Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, the Baden Street Settlement, the Webster Avenue Family Resource Center, the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office, the Monroe County Board of Elections and the New York State Association of Counties. As a member of the State Assembly, Mr. Gantt’s tenure has been marked by his concern for the development of affordable housing, health care and services for the young and the elderly; maintaining the safety of our state’s roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure; voter registration and education; and the promotion of minority businesses. He is the author of numerous bills enacted into state law, including: laws extending the authorization to use ignition interlock systems in DWI sentencing; laws extending and expanding the state’s sixty-five mile per hour maximum speed limit; a statewide law requiring all newly constructed public theaters, auditoriums and meeting places to be equipped with systems to aid people with hearing impairments; a statewide law aimed at driving drug dealers out of residential neighborhoods; a law designed to help undercover law enforcement officials crack down on narcotics dealers; a law which enhances the economic development opportunities of municipalities throughout New York State; and numerous laws which ensure equal access to voters at their local polling places. Mr. Gantt currently serves as Chairman of the Assembly Standing Committee on Transportation. Previously, Mr. Gantt served as Co-Chair of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, ushering the Assembly Majority through the 1990 Census and the subsequent reapportionment of legislative districts. He also chairs both the Assembly Subcommittee on Affordable Housing and the Subcommittee on Voter Registration, and he is a member of the Assembly Standing Committees on: Economic Development, Corporations, Rules, Local Governments; and Ways and Means.
Captain Charles Price
Charles Price was hired in 1947 as Rochester’s first black police officer. He rose in the ranks from beat cop to detective and intelligence work, retiring in 1985 as a police captain. During World War II Mr. Price trained as a Tuskegee Airman and served in intelligence with the 332nd Fighter Group in Italy.
Over the years he has participated in a number of professional and social organizations including: Rochester chapter of American Association for Professional Administrators, president; National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; Greater Rochester International Panel of National Association of Public Administrators; Rochester Rosewood Club (command officers club), president; Rochester/Monroe County YMCA, advisory board member; Rochester Pathway Houses, president; New York State District Kiwanis International, governor.
Mr. Price is recognized for his lifetime of capable and sensitive work in behalf of justice for all. He is especially respected for his ability to work effectively amidst a broad diversity of people and situations.
Captain Price grew up on the west side of Rochester. He attended Madison High School and upon graduation joined the United States Army Air Corps. He is married to Pauline and has two daughters. Upon his return from the United States Armed Forces, he went to work at Kodak and on a dare took the Rochester Police Department’s civil service exam. While other African Americans took the civil service exam, he was the only one who passed. Captain Price was the first African American Officer to serve on the Rochester Police Department from December 1947 until March 4, 1985. During his career, Captain Price patrolled the streets of City of Rochester for fifteen years and during the 1950’s worked with the Police Athletic League to combat juvenile crime. In 1960, he became the first African American Officer to be named detective. Three years later, he was promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant and in 1963 he was named as one of the three officers who formed the first Internal Affairs Section. In 1970, he was assigned as the Chief of the Rochester Police Department’s Community Services Section. A year later he was promoted to detective Lieutenant and in 1974 he was promoted to the rank of Captain. He served as the commanding officer of the Genesee Section for three years. In 1980, he was named as commanding officer of the Internal Affairs Section. In 1981, Captain Price along with two other officers, were awarded the Rochester Police Department’s Medal of Valor for his role in rescuing Officer Ronald Baker amid gunfire as Officer Baker lay wounded during a hostage situation at a Security Trust bank on Thurston Road. He has also received several letters from the community regarding his dedication and professionalism to the residents of the City of Rochester. Captain Price served the Rochester Police Department for 38 years and at the time of his retirement was the department’s highest ranking black officer. As the first African American Officer, he faced many difficulties and overcame them for future generations. He serves as a role model to all Officers and was described by Retired Chief Delmar Leach as a, “source of guidance and sensitivity in a job that requires a great deal of care”.