With Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaching, black conservative activists are commemorating the late civil rights icon’s life, lessons and legacy. Members of the Project 21 black leadership network are available to discuss Dr. King’s importance in American history and how they feel others have honored – and dishonored – his legacy.
“Dr. King’s legacy is not only a celebration of the life of the slain civil rights leader; it’s also an important reminder that it’s safe to dream big,” said Project 21 member Demetrius Minor, an evangelical youth minister and free speech activist. “We must dream of a better society that consists of us loving our neighbor, eradicating hatred and racism from our neighborhoods, restoring civility to our politics and advocating for restoration for those seeking a second chance at life. The values encompassed by Dr. King live on and will continue to echo amongst the generations of those who come after us.”
“Some people believe that race relations in this country are getting worse. In some respects they are – precisely because people are too often regarded by their ‘race’ and not their character,” said Project 21 member Derryck Green, Ph.D., a campus organizer whose doctorate is in theology and spiritual leadership with a concentration in identity formation. “If Americans are serious about moving beyond racial obsession, we have an obligation to remember the content and message of Dr. King’s public ministry rather than politicizing him or merely invoking his name out of obligation.”
“Dr. King did all he could to open doors of opportunity and fellowship. Sadly, extremists today are closing them in the name of partisanship and chaos. It’s up to us to keep them open,” said Project 21 member Nadra Enzi, a community safety activist in New Orleans.
“As we celebrate the birthday of a great leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it is important to remember that he viewed a positive working relationship with presidents as essential to moving his civil rights agenda forward,” said Project 21 member Donna Jackson, who holds a degree in divinity studies and worked in the administration of then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. “We should use Dr. King as an example of what can be achieved when leaders of the black community work in partnership with the presidents of this great country. Dr. King stood for progress, and not the politics that we are unfortunately seeing today.”
To help black Americans remove remaining barriers to empowerment and ensure an equal chance of attaining the American dream, Project 21 recently released the “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America.” The Blueprint’s 57 recommendations address issues including police-community relations, employment, immigration, education and revitalizing the black church.
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.