of the Covent Avenue Baptist Church and Chair of the M.L.
Wilson Boys and Girls Club, Reverend Clarence P. Grant,
is missing in action. According to the non-profit organization,
the Liberation Program of Brotherhood/ Sister Sol, and
the residents of Harlem, he has been missing for the past
In 1986, Rev. Grant signed a contract stating that P.S.
186, the former M.L. Wilson Boys and Girls club, would
be reformed within a matter of years. Eighty-five percent
(85%) of the building was to be reconstructed and used
as a community center. The other fifteen percent (15%)
would be used for commercial businesses. Unfortunately,
up to 17 years later, the building still stands abandoned
in the center of W. 145th Street, between Broadway and
It leaves to question, what has Rev. Grant been doing
for 17 years. And maybe more importantly why hasn't Rev.
Grant lived up to his words?
When asked to speak on his negligence of the building,
Rev. Grant ultimately refused. For years,
the Liberation program has been trying to get answers.
The majority of their attempts were unsuccessful. Sources
say Grant managed to somehow have been unavailable and
unable to respond for all these years. Chapter Leader
of the Liberation Program, Cidra Sebastien, spoke on her
attempts in contacting Rev. Grant, and her experiences
with his disregard. A question of possible explanations
arose when Sebastian questioned his irresponsibility.
Due to his absence, people are left to assume what could
be the reason as to why so much time has gone by with
no alterations made. When I suggested the possibility
of Grant being financially unstable, Sebastien responded
in a more matter-of-fact way stating, ∞[Ultimately],
the building would pay for itself". But the communities
initial question still was unanswered- ∞Why won't
he just say that?"
There were few selected occasions where Grant agreed to
meet with the Liberation Program, and other organizations
in agreement that were willing to help reconstruct the
building. During these encounters, Grant agreed to modify
the minor requested changes, such as have the outside
of the building cleaned. For the Liberation Program and
residents of the neighborhood ∞that's still not
enough", said an anonymous member of the CABC, summarizing
what the community at large seems to feel. ∞After
a while, you stop noticing it, but [there still could]
be something else worth looking at instead of that,"
said a resident looking across to the building.
Rev. Grant might have a good reason for what's happening.
He might A goal of the Liberation program is to take valid
expressions such as these and get them together to form
that which is over due.