John Bluford

Retired health care executive and the President and Founder of the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute

Where were you born and raised?
I was born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in Columbia, South Carolina.

What is your occupation?
I am a retired Healthcare Executive and the President and Founder of the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
I enjoy the game of basketball and as a child I had a chance to play basketball games all over the cities of Philadelphia and Columbia, South Carolina.

What does Black History Month mean to you?
To me Black History month is a dereliction of duty and a slap in the face of a people who have made countless and meaningful contributions for over 300 years, for this country to now have their contributions reduced to a month of celebrity. The achievements of Black people should be recognized routinely, the same as majority achievements.

What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing the Black community?
The lack of knowledge around the importance of creating generational wealth, with which education, home ownership and social integration can become more routinely achievable.

When did you realize you were Black in America and what has that meant for your life?
As soon as I could "realize," and it has meant a need and desire to work harder to achieve what some others are given more easily.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration to push for change?
Mohammad Ali was a big inspiration for me, not as a boxer, but as a humanitarian and an anti-war advocate. I'm also inspired by Malcom X as an intellectual not afraid to speak truth to power.

How have you supported or contributed to the local Black community?
I have considered my work in Health Care as my ministry, and through it, hopefully I have inspired a sense of purpose and hope among the Communities, People, Patients, and staff that I have had the privilege of working.

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