By: Stacy M. Brown / NNPA
African Americans should never forget the generation of leaders that came before them, nor disregard those who laid a solid foundation and left a trustworthy blueprint to follow.
“Those Black freedom fighters hoped to pass the torch to an appreciative group of beneficiaries, who would continue the fight for equality and justice while teaching their offspring to do the same,” said Jeffrey L. Boney.
The award-winning journalist and Missouri City, Texas, Councilman obviously wears many hats – and he’s pretty good at each.
Boney, an outspoken purveyor of Black news and information, isn’t seeking a verbal spat. And that’s a good thing for many who might want to oppose him, as often an opponent in such a battle with Boney finds themselves unarmed.
Quite simply- Don’t argue with him.
Incidentally, that’s the name of Boney’s newest book, “DON’T ARGUE WITH ME! A No-nonsense approach to the issues in the Black community.”
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, Boney’s Omega Psi Phi fraternity brother, penned the book’s forward.
“I’ve known Ben Crump for several years, and he was a freedom fighter even before he blew up in the national spotlight,” Boney remarked.
“He’s always advocated for African Americans, underserved, and disadvantaged individuals. So when I told him I was writing this book and shared with him the premise, he wholeheartedly and without hesitation said he wanted to write the forward and that we needed to have this dialogue in real-time across this country.”
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A graduate of Texas Southern University, Boney has always sought to follow in the footsteps of his ancestors.
He served as an adjunct professor in the school of Business Administration at Houston Community College, earning recognition as a trailblazer helping to lead Black students and others in achieving their goals.
For more than half a decade, Boney has served as the host of the nationally recognized daily radio program called “Real Talk with Jeffrey L. Boney.”
As Associate Editor for the historic Houston Forward Times, the largest Black-owned and independently published newspaper in the South, Boney has carved out quite the following with his various feature stories and articles, including his popular weekly column, “J Boney Speaks.”
In November 2017, Boney added Missouri City Councilman to his bevy of responsibilities and now serves as Mayor Pro Tem.
“One of the things that I talk about in my book is reading,” stated Boney, who titled one chapter in the tome, “It’s Not My Fault Black Folks Don’t Read.”
“Reading is fundamental,” he said before delving into the history of an America that prevented African Americans from gaining a solid education.
“In slavery, it was a crime for Black people to read. If they were caught reading, they would be killed, whipped, lynched, or ostracized,” Boney relayed.
“Some even would have their hands cut off. There’s a reason they wanted to keep us illiterate and in chains mentally so that they could control us.”
Boney continued: “Carter G. Woodson said, ‘if you can control a man’s thinking, you don’t have to go out the back door. He’ll build one and walk out of it.’”
On what went into his decision to run for public office, Boney offers little hesitation.
“I was always saying that someone needs to run for office. When I looked at the makeup of the city council in Missouri City, and then Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, I said on my radio program that if folks weren’t careful, Trump would win. He did, and I said I don’t want that same vitriol in my community, so if not me, then who? I felt like I had the time, commitment, and care for my community to become a public servant.”
Boney argues that more should involve themselves politically.
“You don’t have to run as I did, but you need to be aware,” he asserted.
In the book, Boney talks about a time when community meant more than anything to African Americans.
He spoke fondly of a woman named Leola, a busybody for sure but a neighborhood caretaker above all.
“I think people respect and love what is real,” Boney insisted. “They know genuine people when they see them. I’m not an actor. I would not say something here and there. I’m consistent.”
He continued: “It’s important. We need hard truths. We need to be dealt with as our elders did back in the day. They were straight up with you. Ms. Leola would always snitch on everyone. We’d see her raise her blinds open and peeping at what was happening in her neighborhood, where she raised her kids, owned her home and paid her taxes. Many people didn’t like it, but they respected her because she looked out for the neighborhood.”
Boney further argues that Black people need to return to their foundational roots and ensure that the community’s many issues are addressed “in real, substantive, and practical ways.”
I want to be very clear,” Boney again asserted. “My take on things may shock and even upset your worldview and current societal beliefs, so get strapped in for this challenging ride as you see the world through my lens. Only a dose of pure and unadulterated reality will be enough to motivate, mobilize, and propel us to do more, learn more, give more, help more, have more, and want more.”