LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Who is at the helm?

Control of some neighborhoods in the wrong hands


My brother Alvin and I recently talked about the elders in the Black community apparently relinquishing their control of behavior in their neighborhoods. When you drive, walk or live in some neighborhoods, it is easy to see who is in control.  The openly selling of drugs on street corners is a good indication of who is in control. At first, we were at a loss to explain why. After some lengthy deliberation and reflection, we decided that the young men of the neighborhoods did not take control away. We decided that control was given away. When Black men forfeited their role in the traditional family settings, they gave up more than most people ever imagined.  They gave up their ability to influence and guide their eventual replacement in society.  Black kids in many neighborhoods see many adult males as being parasites and a blight on the community.  They see them as deadbeat, no-where-to-be-found, irresponsible dads.  They cannot see any worthwhile accomplishments in many of them. They hear their mothers, grandmothers and other female side of the family constantly ridiculing and putting down those no-good males in the community.  Kids go out in to the streets and see examples of what their female sides of the family have told them.   Kids come away thinking that these poor examples of men have nothing to tell them, and they are not about to take anything they say seriously.  We keep hearing older black men lamenting about young blacks not listening. They are listening, but who and what are they listening to? Many are listening to the message that they want to hear, while others listen to the only messages that are available to them. The message that too many enjoy hearing is one of irresponsibility, over-indulgence, instant gratification and disdain for societal norms.  Many see what they want to see in the music videos. They hear what they want to hear in Rap music.  They hear what they want to hear from drug dealers and pimps.

Many Black communities need to do a serious self-assessment and come to a genuine and critical conclusion about conditions therein. Whitewashing and glossing over what is happening is counter-productive and serves no useful purpose.  Down with the feel-good mentality and up with some meanful changes.  The bottom line is, the elders of the community must regain their rightful places in Black communities. It will take time and a lot of effort, but it is doable.
Copyright 2006
This commentary written by L.C. Thornton, for The Peoples Voice Black Weekly News
To reprint ONLY WITH PERMISSION contact:
L.C. Thornton at

Sent Sunday, May 21, 2006 


May 21, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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