Political Jonesâ Life Is a Song for his Mama

Political Jones’ Life Is a Song for his Mama

The nationally syndicated radio host and political blogger Leroy Jones, Jr., credits his late mother for all of his success

Political Jonesâ Life Is a Song for his Mama

political game-changers?

LJ: Black women, no doubt about it. I’ve always said that the way Black women go is how the Black community goes. They’ve always been the backbone even if they don’t get the credit. Black women have the ability to adapt and would be great spokespeople for the main issues that affect our community, from health care to the economy. We need sisters’ voices.

I would love to see more Black women involved in the political process and running for office.  It would change the political dynamic.  And in the age of Michelle Obama, I think that’s coming.  I’ve been astounded by the optimism I’m feeling for Black women right now and it is something I can tell my beautiful 14-year-old daughter that she really can do anything and be anything.  And I think that’s a part of the journey I’ve been on as I created The Political Jones Show, to not only educate but to provide a platform for previously disengaged people to become more involved.

EBONY: Did you always plan to work in radio at some point in your career?

LJ: I never saw myself as being on a radio show, actually. I’ve been truly blessed and truly favored. When I started PoliticalJones.com, I went through a lot of uncertainty and I had to get on my knees and pray to God.  I said, “I don’t know what I’m doing, but I know you’ve always been there for me.”  

Growing up in the South in segregation, when I would tell my mama what I’d seen, she would tell me that when I grow up, I should fight to get rid of the injustice.  That stuck with me for many years, so I ended up going to law school. But while I was there, I got bit by the political bug and worked on the Hill through law school and after graduation and beyond.

Even when I was young, my mother made it her business to explain politics and society to me and break it down in a way that I would understand. So no matter how I ended up doing it, I wanted to be sure I was true to that.

I didn’t ask for this [radio show] specifically, I prayed about it and doors opened up for me to do this. I had to listen and take the leap of faith. I just had to say, Lord, you take me in the direction you want to me to go.” Every decision I’ve made, it was all based on faith. Some stuff has worked out and some hasn’t. But  I know I’m doing what He wants me to do. Am I perfect? Absolutely not. Am I a sinner? Just like everything else. I’m just a vessel and I just try to let Him lead me and trust Him and say, “God, You didn’t bring me this far to fail.”

EBONY: At what point in your spiritual journey did you get to that level of peace and ability to completely relinquish control and allow yourself to be led?

LJ: In 1976, they diagnosed my mother with sarcoidosis, the same disease that killed Bernie Mac. They gave my mother 6 months to live.  But she just kept right on going. She said, “I’ve got two babies to raise.”  At the time, my sister was 6 and I was 12. And my mother didn’t die until 20 years later.

My father only once heard me in a heated conversation with my mother.  He pulled me aside and was very upset and said, “I’ve never heard you talk to your mother like that.”  But that was the night she told me she was going to die right before she died. I didn’t want to believe it. I was fighting so hard for her but she was just at peace with it. She said, “Baby, you’re gonna have some ups and downs, but I don’t worry about you no more.” She told me she loved me and she was proud of me and to let the Lord lead me.

So that to me is why I’m on the path that I’m on. That’s why I can be at peace because He never left my mother and He’s never left me.

EBONY: You’ve worked for the President of the United States, you’ve worked in Congress, you’re a hit radio host and a proud father.  What do you hope your legacy will be?

LJ: I hope people remember me as someone who told it to them like I knew it, that I informed them and that I was a fair guy. More important, I hope I’m remembered as a good father to my kids, a good brother to my sister, a good friend and a vessel of God. I haven’t been perfect, but in my heart I tried to do the right

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