Profiles in Courage
Dr. Winford Quick is a quiet man. A child of the rural, “Jim Crow” South, as an African- American, he understood and experienced adversity in all of its forms. He once commented ruefully that in High School, there was “no soul” on the football team. Afterwards, he attended Grambling College and played as a lineman for the football team. He was so good, that the Dallas Cowboys drafted him as a promising player. He chose however to go on to Medical school as his calling, working for the General Motors Corporation as a Physician.
Throughout all of these last fifty years, Dr. Quick performed ably as a physician, community leader and activist. He and wife Joyce belong to the St. John’s Baptist Church on Buffalo’s near east side. Their efforts, in the church and community, are continuing and typically unrecognized. Winford never sought or thought he deserved any acclaim for all of the good things he accomplished for his church, his community and his family.
During this latest Pandemic surge, Dr. Quick quietly assembled his church community, some four hundred plus souls and arranged for them to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus. That might not sound like such a big deal to some, but in light of the minority skepticism regarding all vaccinations, a legacy of the horrific Tuskegee experiments of the 1930’s, it was nothing short of a miracle. Typically, DR. Quick did it quietly and without any fuss. He believed in getting help for his community and accomplished it without fuss or fanfare.
I watched all of this and quietly noted that Winford had once again stepped in to help, without any attention to himself. And I noted that it shouldn’t be. Men like Dr. Winford Quick don’t come among us all too often. In spite of the vagaries of the Jim Crow South, this man had gotten his Medical Degree and sought for a life time to help others. Never once did I ever hear him speak resentfully of the many obstacles placed in his path. Rather, he always sought of speak of those whom he had helped and what he could do for his community. He was clearly one of those “Profiles in Courage” that President John F. Kennedy had written about.
I don’t know what civil accolades can be afford a man of this stature in Buffalo, N.Y. Winford Quick would be among the first to suggest that it was unnecessary. But and many others who know him think that he should be singled out as a remarkable asset to his church and community. And the reason is not to bring acclaim to Winford personally. He would never wish that for himself. But, rather to show others, who come after him, that you can rise above adversity and bring help and assistance to your community, if you but persevere like Dr. Quick has done. And if nothing ever comes of this, my dear friend Winford has my deepest respect for the many accomplishments that he has achieved, to serve his family, his church and his community. I consider it a great personal privilege to have made his acquaintance and earned his friendship. Rock on Winford, most treasured of men.
Joseph Xavier Martin