Leonard Ford: Blacks must focus on the negatives to turn them into positives


For those who keep up with my columns, I know you’ve asked yourself more than once the following questions: “Why does Leonard always seem to write about the negative things that black people do, and why does he find it necessary to do so?” Hey, it’s a legitimate question? I have been asked the questions a few times by some of my readers.

Here’s my answer. I do it to point out the many problems that we black Americans face, both here in Alexandria and around the country. I do it because these are the things that I believe require our attention. There’s nothing wrong with focusing our attention on the positive, but doing so only serves to take our eyes away from our real problems such as black men being absent fathers, black men being in prison, young black men killing one another, black-on-black crime, black female teens having babies, and blacks living in poverty.

How will we ever attack these problems if we don’t turn our attention on them? For these things to get better, don’t you think we need to talk about them ? YES, we do. We have to bring our problems to the forefront. To do that, we have to talk among ourselves and to community leaders, and those local, state, and federal agencies that can address the issues that are plaguing us. We just can’t turn a blind eye to those negative issues and hope that they just disappear.

The positives of our community are more or less where we want them to be because we have put our energy and sweat into getting them that way. Shouldn’t that same energy and sweat be used to turn the negative into positives? YES, it should. That’s why I talk and write, and will continue to talk and write about the problems facing blacks even if I’m constantly being told that I need to stop with the negativity.

We may not solve all the problems that we are facing, but at least we’re thinking about them when we talk about them, which I think is a step in the right direction. I may not, or we together may not solve all the problems that are affecting us in our communities, but at least talking about them is a step in the right direction.

By the way, the next time read a column of mine that you deem a negative portrayal of the black community, you’ll know why I do what I do.

On a positive note, I want to thank Willie Spears, Rosa Fields, the Rev. Joe Green, the Rev. Willie Dunkley, Martin Johnson, Sibal Holt, and Felica and Kelvin Coney for being members of the Advisory Council for the Boys & Girls Club of Central Louisiana. I want to thank them for giving their time, energy, encouragement, and expertise to an organization that has the wellbeing of our young boys and girls at heart. Thanks also goes to Mayor Jacques Roy and Mayor Clarence Fields for their part in assisting with keeping the club open in their respective cities. Each of these individuals have shown that a negative situation can be turned around and resolved when people get together in a positive way to talk about issues that affect our black communities.

See. I can write about positive things the community is doing.

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