Growing up in a vibrant black community in Arkansas during segregation, Greg Hodge developed a series of lifelong questions about race relations in America. Now 51, and co-owner of Community Development Associates (CDA), he reflects on how those questions emerged through the story of Phil, a young boy who had come to live with Big Mama, a matriarch in his black community.
“Big Mama was one of those people who always took care of everybody’s kids,” Hodge said. “You never quite knew if these were her grandkids, nieces or nephews…So Big Mama had a kid named Phil, and Phil was white. And if you can imagine, being a white kid in a black part of town, I always had this question, who was Phil…and would I have been as accepted if I lived in an all white community?”
CDA was founded in 1996 to affect positive change in urban and rural communities by providing professional consulting services to community-based entities, foundations, intermediaries, colleges and universities, government agencies, and private corporations.