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Manny Lucus : "The Onion" (Volume 39 Issue 51)
"Just because I happen to live with my four brothers and sisters in my mom's two-bedroom South Side apartment, work at Taco Bell, and don't have a car, some ignorant types assume that I don't have much money. But, as you can clearly see from my $220 Fubu jacket and $95 Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirt, I could not possibly be poor.
The kind of name-brand clothing I wear is very expensive. See these Karl Kani jeans? Eighty-eight dollars. Would I spend that kind of money on a pair of jeans if I were poor? Of course not. If I were poor, I'd think $88 was way too much to spend on a pair of jeans that, with the exception of a tiny Karl Kani logo embroidered on the front right pocket, are practically indistinguishable from a plain old pair of $25 Levi's. But I don't think that's too much to spend because, for a well-off person like myself, money is no object.
Sure, I make $5.90 an hour at Taco Bell, but that couldn't possibly be my only source of income, could it? If my total weekly take-home pay were only $175, why in the world would I spend practically that much on a Nautica sweater and pair of Timberlands? That would mean I'd have spent 40 hours slinging Chalupas just for that one shopping trip to the mall. That'd just be plain stupid. So, obviously, I must be rolling in dough. And I am. You can tell by my special non-poor-people clothing.
Yes, it's obvious that I'm not like all those other losers who are working at Taco Bell and living with their moms. No, I'm a player. Take, for example, my socks. If I didn't have money to burn, I certainly wouldn't spend $22 for a pair of basic white athletic socks with a teeny-tiny Calvin Klein "CK" on them, would I? Of course not. I'd need to save my cash to get my telephone reconnected, or to pay off my loitering fine, or to help out my mom with the grocery bill. But, luckily, I'm not in that situation, and everyone knows it just by looking at my clothes.
I'll admit it: A lot of people here on the South Side are poor. In fact, most of my relatives are poor, including my mother and all my siblings. Knowing that, you might assume that I don't have that much money, either. But just look at these Lugz boots. And look at this Sean John baseball cap. They prove that I'm in an entirely different social class from my relatives, as well as from all those suckers who ride the bus with me every day.
Except for Angela, that is. I met her Monday on the C-route. She clearly belongs to a higher class of people like myself. I could tell because she was decked out from head to toe in expensive gear: Fubu jersey, Pepe jeans, and Fila shoes, not to mention a big gold chain around her neck. Angela was holding her two-year-old son, but he obviously isn't placing much of a financial strain on her, as he was wearing a complete matching Abercrombie & Fitch outfit, which must have cost around $140. Recognizing how much Angela and I had in common, I asked her out on the spot. We went to dinner at Denny's that very same night."
Remel K. Moore : Executive Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Centre
for Pan African Culture in Accra, Ghana from 1996-2000
"William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was an educator who believed that education was not for the intelligentsia, the well-schooled or aspiring scholar alone. His career and life was devoted to pursuing, sharing and promoting education on college campuses, but also among the community as director of publications through his writings and editorship of The Crisis, the official information organ of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Certainly, Dr. Du Bois believed that young minds should be challenged to think, even dangerously, if they were being creative, timely and pertinent to the challenges of today and tomorrow. He instructed students in history and economics at Atlanta University. He was strongly compelled to ensuring that the future leaders, found and bred on university campuses, were challenged by the most promising minds of the time. Yet mindful of the thirst of the African American community to be challenged with new ways of thinking about their condition and changing current circumstances, he also believed in the capacity of the so-called masses to think, coalesce around an idea, and move society forward in a positive direction thus his continuing passion to providing progressive views for the public's consumption.
In fact, Dr. Du Bois perceived education as a companion to efforts to promote African people. "Education and work are the levers to uplift a people. Work alone will not do it unless inspired by the right ideals and guided by intelligence. Education must not simply teach work - it must teach life." Dr. Du Bois viewed the lives of African people as consumed by work with little recognition given to working people as a thinking people. When he began his life's profession and inclination as a teacher/professor and writer, he focused on Africans born in the United States. However, as early as 1898, he soon became concerned with the condition of African people worldwide with his pan Negroism exhortations rooting later Pan Africanism ideals. Not surprisingly, Dr. Du Bois ended his life while pursuing the gigantic effort of compiling the Encyclopedia Africana.
Dr. Du Bois wrote numerous articles and more than twenty books, with the hope that by sharing his thoughts on group organization, the plight of African peoples, segregation, social injustice and so on, that individuals in communities would move towards action, change and equity. Underlying the civil rights movement, at its foundation, are the writings of Du Bois and others. The writings of Dr. Du Bois in The Crisis, other newspaper or journal articles and books could be read, reread, shared and discussed in dining rooms, churches and community centers. Dr. Du Bois was certain that education, with the purpose of instructing a nation, had to be extensively and publicly promoted through vehicles of public information. He did not underestimate the capacities of his readers to understand and react to his urging commentary. He wrote with the assumption and expectation that readers and discussants would comprehend tenets raised with perceptive and reflective consideration
Always venturing beyond the known territory and safe boundaries, Dr. Du Bois dared to think, say and write ideals that became the structural foundations for the Niagara Movement, NAACP, Pan Africanism, world peace and nuclear disarmament while sharing and espousing socialism and communism even at the threat to his personal rights and safety. While under investigation by the United States government for his relationships with Iron Curtain leaders who held him in high regard and, no doubt, his chairmanship of the Peace Information Center, Dr. Du Bois responded affirmatively to yet another request to educate the masses, now on the African continent.
Spanning the African World, Dr. Du Bois sought to fulfill a dream of President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to enlighten millions of Africans of their own glorious history albeit largely absent from African peoples' written record (except by Europeans' assessments). Dr. Du Bois long-held belief in the value of the written word matched President Nkrumah's esteem for the authorship, permanence and commitment to truth-telling of Africa's history and development as could best be told by African people themselves. President Nkrumah understood the immensity if this mission. Dr. DuBois, in spite of his age, felt that he was up to the task.
Dr. Du Bois was stimulated by the myriad of possibilities and the richness of the potential posed by this awesome task and responsibility. Living in Ghana, he focused on the work before him but never hesitated to meet and talk with school children. He continued to inspire youth with the importance of education gathering them before him in last days. Dr. Du Bois was unable to complete the Encyclopedia Africana but his life continues to be a beacon to those who would seek education as the tool to life, indeed to live life fully, education must teach life."
Dorothy Booker : Indiana
"I just want to say I support Project 2019. I have three sons who are seven, five, and two years old and it is nice to know that there are other prople who are also thinking about their future. I promise I will do everything that I can to make sure that my kids learn everything they can possibly learn and that they go to college. We will definitely have something to celebrate in the year 2019."
The Purpose Of Education, By Martin L. King Jr. (Morehouse College, 1948)
-- (Submitted by Mileka Aljuwani Milwaukee, WI)
"As I engage in the so-called "bull sessions" around and about the school, I too often find that most college men have a misconception of the purpose of education. Most of the "brethren" think that education should equip them with the proper instruments of exploitation so that they can forever trample over the masses. Still others think that education should furnish them with noble ends rather than means to an end.
It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life.
Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one's self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.
The late Eugene Talmadge, in my opinion, possessed one of the better minds of Georgia, or even America. Moreover, he wore the Phi Beta Kappa key. By all measuring rods, Mr. Talmadge could think critically and intensively; yet he contends that I am an inferior being. Are those the types of men we call educated?
We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living.
If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded,
unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful,
"brethren!" Be careful, teachers!"
Bruce H. Edwards : Lexington, KY
Click here to read "LeBron James, 50 Cent... Public Enemies #1" by Bruce Edwards of the Lexington, Kentucky Chapter of Project 2019. Click here for Bruce Edwards biographical information.
Carla E. Brown : New York
"I just ran across your website and I want to voice my agreement with your message. I can't imagine why others, especially are so-called black leaders, are not saying the same things. We can sit around and complain or we can do something positive. Project 2019 is definitely something positive. I hope all black Americans are paying attention. Project 2019 may be the only thing that will ever save black America. May God bless you and what you are trying to accomplish."
Laurdine (Michael and Zack) : Chicago, IL
"During Black History Month, I had the pleasure of meeting Charles Sanford (the author of "Project 2019") at a lecture he gave at Malcolm X College. After reading "Project 2019," my sixteen year old son and his friend also had the opportunity to read it. We have now decided to join the fight to help black Americans achieve "educational parity" by the year 2019. Please let us how we can help the movement."
Raymond L. Baker : Atlanta, GA
I have just read the information about the campaign to have "Slavery" recognized as a proper noun when referring to the 400-year ordeal of African people. This makes all the sense in the world to me and I have already started to spread the word.
Mike Ramey : On Line Book Reviews
Only Black America Can Save Black America
Before you purchase a copy of Project 2019 : Socioeconomic Equality Through Formal Education by Charles E. Sanford, be warned. Its one of those books that will keep you turning the pages through an entire weekend (1998, Hundred School Publishing, USA, 219 Pages)
Sanford does a skillful job of stating his case for true Black progress in the United States. The historical references and statistical information provided by him are easy to digest, and, if need be, easier to teach in a classroom setting. In fact, I would recommend this book be at the top of the Black History Month list for anyone serious about solutions, instead of excuses, when it comes to Black Pride and our success as a people.
Have you ever picked up a book, and from the opening pages found that YOU had actually spoken these items to yourself or your family? One cant help but to identify with this work at that level. This twenty-year plan for our success as a people, according to Sanfords preface, was birthed during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
The book is composed of some 24 separate issues, ranging from slavery, racism, and our winning the Civil Rights struggle, coming up to our need to re-emphasize the value of an education to our youth. Sanford is bold enough to mention the types of critics he will likely find as the clock continues to tick towards 2019, as well as the pluses and minuses of what could happen to our people if the plan is put into motion into EVERY Black home.
Sanfords work should be in a second edition as public interest continues to grow. It is the first work of its type in this still new millennium that is not shrill, nor condemning. It states the facts, and puts down the challenge. Either WE, as a people, are going to have to get back to demanding that our youth stay in school, or we will not achieve as a people.
I would recommend this book for anyone with children of middle-school age and higher. This book would also find a home with some of our at risk youth, who may be either incarcerated, or on probation or parole. It will give them something more than they can find on television and the movies. It will give them hope that they can turn their lives around, and become productive citizens. I especially like how Sanford handled the voting and Affirmative Action issues. Some great food for thought and traction for real community action. For purchasing information, check out the Website: http://www.project2019.com, or buzz the author at email@example.com. You wont be sorry to make the inquiry or investment in the book.
Phozisa Malusi : South Africa
"I'm a 25yr old black woman. I'm a South African woman who beleives firmly that the diginity of our people will be restored by other Black people. We just have to work on the renewal of our minds. In South Africa we have what is called the Affirmation Action that is meant to fix the imbalances of the past. Yet it is still the white man that holds the managerial position and is making critical decisions about the future of the black employee. So many of our black graduates are still without jobs. So many of our brilliant and talented high school children are without scholarships and cannot further their studies. In South Africa we can boast of a democratic government but that doesn't mean much to the average black person who still struggles for a job and an education.
I and a group of friends, would like to establish a movement called Black Youth Initiative. The purpose of which would be to promote the restoration of the culture of learning in our schools and therefore restoring the dignity of Africa. We would focus on young people in our townships by going to schools which are struggling and assist them in attaining dissent matric (grade 12)results. We hope to partner with school management and with government academic intervention programmes, we'd come up with a year long motivation and youth development programme focusing on each learner. We'd develop activities that will strengthen the learner - parent - teacher relationship ....... we'd like to call this " partnerships for change ". We believe that success starts on the inside and its reflected on the outside .... so we'd look at issues affecting the learners which are not solely academic.
We want the poorest of the poor to believe in themselves and their abilities. We'd take them away on youth camps and come up with activities in their schools.
We hope to use professional young people from the church, society who are engineers, attorneys, doctors, specialists in different fields. We'd invite them to talk to students, concentrating mostly on those professionals who managed to attain an education despite the apartheid and poverty. Mainly professionals who studied in conditions worse off than the current learners . We'd also like to include issues like HIV/Aids as you cannot deal with young people and not deal with their issues holistically . We hope to be partnering with large corporations that could guarantee scholarships for the students. We'd also hold workshops and seminars on issues such as entreprenuership, developing a savings culture and so on . We have so many ideas and programmes that we've drafted down. We need assistance in getting the whole programme and movement off the ground. Any help and advice you might offer would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thank you for your time and God Bless you on your endeavours."
Bruce Edwards : Lexington, Kentucky
"The American Game"
So small our slice of the American pie
I've spent countless hours wondering why
Why have we so little
While others have the lion's share
Why do foreigners take part in the harvest?
While our cupboards remain so despairingly bare
The reasons are many
Too many to name
Time is better spent finding solutions
To compete and play the American game
We must put a team together
Gathering the best we can find
Anyone not willing to get on board
We'll pray that God will help them
But they've made the choice to be left behind
We can't wait any longer
Slavery has given us a very late start
We haven't been doing this freedom thing long
We're basically starting with our souls and our heart
We've been treated so shamefully
Through our blood, sweat, and tears
There's a lot of ground we have to make up
We've only been free for 137 years
In that time
More than a few
Have made it through
In the middle, upper-middle, and upper classes
But what I'm talking about
Is success for the masses
Education is the foundation of the game
It's chapter one in the book of rules
The number one rule, simply stated
The number one rule they've created
Education is their basic way of measure
It can never be taken away
Education is their treasure
It must become ours
Its importance stressed
From the womb and the cradle
Our children must compete
Education will make them able
The team is us who'll pay the price
Doing the right thing
Without thinking twice
We'll set the course
Without selfish remorse
Our time may be short
Soon we'll all be dead
So we must begin thinking two generations ahead
We must be focused
With undying determination
The first order of business
Our children's education
( © 2001 Bruce Edwards )
Minister Paul Scott : firstname.lastname@example.org
"In dealing with the patience that it took to deal with those brothers who were less culturally aware during the Black Power Era of the 60's, someone said that "every Negro is a potential Black man." In the 21st century; The Afrikan Power Era our slogan should be "every Thug is a potential Afrikan."
It is imperative that we look at this Thug/gangsta image that has been held up as the essence of "black manhood" and more importantly the ramifications that it has for Black men, Black women and most importantly, Black children.
If we trace the creation of the "Thug" we must, of course, start with the destruction of the black masculinity during the African Holocaust (transatlantic slave trade). Before the Africans were brought here bound in chains, they had been stripped of their manhood through an intense "seasoning" process, the horrors of which have never been fully realized by this society. Upon arrival to America, the enslaved African was treated like one of the animals of the field and was used for two purposes labor and "breeding." It has been recorded that many Black men were lynched right in front of their pregnant wives so the fear that she felt would be transferred into the unborn child. It is also said that the slave owner would sometimes snatch a black woman away from her husband in the middle of the night and make the husband watch as he brutally raped her; further stripping him of his masculinity.
After the end of "physical" slavery instead of declining, the attack on black manhood intensified as the white man never would forget to "put the black man in his place" by constantly regarding him as "boy" regardless of the age. That is why we have so many "men" behaving as "boys" today. I have heard it said that the trend of "sagging" (walking around with your pants hanging off your behind) which many of our young people think is so cool, came about because when a white man would see a black man with his pants pulled up, he would make him drop them down because "only men were supposed to wear their pants pulled up."
Later during the Civil Rights era while the emphasis should have been on regaining our manhood and culture, the mainstream Civil Rights groups concentrated heavily on sharing a toilet or a lunch counter with white folks. One of the main failures of the Civil Rights Movement was focusing on integration instead of the social, economic and spiritual empowerment of the Black community. We bent over backwards to love white folks while all the while hating our black selves.
We made an attempt to recapture our Black manhood during the Black Power Era of the late 60"s and early 70's but that was quickly crushed by COINTELPRO and other attempts by the white power structure to make sure the transformation from boys to men would never take place.
All of this has led to an internalized anger which, when coupled with the conscious or subconscious fear of white power, has produced the Thug image of today. Where the fear was too great to challenge white supremacy, head on, a pseudo-culture was created which allowed the Black man to let out his aggression without becoming a threat to the white power structure. It has also given him the ability to search for self respect in material things, clothing with the name of a white man on the label or gold medallions. The MEDIA (MisEducation Destroying Intelligent Afrikans) has been a willing ally in this endeavor with the movies that have degraded the black man from the pimp/player roles in the black exploitation movies of the early 70's ( Super Fly, the Mack) to the gangsta flix of the late 80's to the present (Menace to Society, Belly etc).
The effect on the black community has been devastating. The reason that you have 30 something year old men acting like teenagers is because thug life has no age limit.
When I was a rebellious teen we would laugh at anyone over 21 still "trying to be down" Because the bad boy image was seen as something that kids did. Today, every other song on the radio is about grown men trying to be Thugs/gangsters as if that is something to be proud of. Some of the rappers have sons that carry the same Thug image as their fathers (Lil Romeo and Master P) There is something very wrong with that.
Recently, I listened to a sister on the radio telling the DJ how she needed a man with a "little Thug in him." It is sad that while the sisters of previous generations wanted a man to give her R-E-S-P-E-C-T. some of our less conscious sisters today want a man to treat them thuggishly.
We are currently raising a generation of young people that has no sense of black culture outside of the Thug culture. When asked to name two black men who "died for the struggle" instead of naming Malcolm X and Fred Hampton they will tell you quickly Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. Or if ask them the meaning of political prisoner they will say "Yeah, that's what they tried to do to Puff Daddy."
What our community is missing is a complete analysis of the Thug Life phenomenon in the context of the Afrikan Liberation Struggle. We cannot let the "fear of blaming the white man for all our problems" or the fear of "preaching hate" prevent us from giving our people a correct historical analysis of the condition of Afrikan people. We must give our young people a sense of culture. We must remove the red and blue bandanna's from the heads of our children and replace them with the Afrikan Liberation colors of red, black and green. We must replace their gang signs with Black Power fists raised proudly in the air. We must replace Black self hate with black love for all black people. We must replace the desire to be a Thug with the desire to be a strong Afrikan man fighting for the LIBERATION of his people."
(Minister Paul Scott is founder of the New Righteous Movement based in Durham North Carolina. He can be reached at email@example.com)
Christopher D. Sims : Rockford, Illinois
"I LOVE and RESPECT what you are accomplishing through Project 2019. What you are doing, and are a part of, is unique, but mostly, NEEDED. We need education, especially Blacks, even if it is just a high school education. In Rockford, there are not a lot of opportunities for those of us who do not have at least a high school diploma.
If our youth are not in a place where they are learning, then more than likely they are out in the streets. Some are turned off by formal education indeed, especially from an education that does not interest them or one that does not relate to them or the lives that they face. They need formal and nonformal education. Project 2019 can help with that. There is "alternative education" needed. By "alternative education" I mean education of themselves,
especially that they do not and will not receive in the public school system. Knowledge of self.
I applause you for what you are doing Brotha Chuck. Please keep working hard and making a difference in the lives of the youth and our lives in general. We are all one."
Name Withheld By Request
"I have just spent my Sunday afternoon reading your insightful articles on your Project 2019 website. I "stumbled" upon it after doing a Google search for "black CEOs." I confess an obsession with research.
You raised some interesting points. After reading all of Randall Robinson's offerings, one of which is "The Debt" (which is basically WHY we should get reparations...); the Powernomics offerings of Dr. Claud Anderson (a practical ECONOMIC plan/solution to black America's economic problems)... I found an "Easter egg" in your website, which I suppose would be an EDUCATIONAL solution to black American's problems.
Arguably, it is certainly possible to become wealthy and comfortable without a formal education: Berry Gordy and Don King and other enterprising blacks in history have certainly proved that. And I while I agree with your premise, I certainly plan to read your book.
"Preaching to the choir" is a phrase that comes to mind while perusing through your articles. Most of us who have visited the website, I would guess, are probably well educated or, at the very least, well informed and enlightened individuals. Randall Robinson makes a comment that "affirmative action only helps those who are poised for success." namely middle-class blacks who received a very good primary education and want to continue. That begs my first question, which was addressed by one of your readers: The mindset of those who would benefit the most from Project 2019 and it's concepts are usually far removed from any programs or internal familial system that would support them in any educational endeavors. How could it be effective on a large scale?
You spoke of the entertainers and sports figures that are revered. I read your essay regarding this, and I do not think it is always conscious choice for some athletes. A lot of guys I knew growing up playing ball grew up in an environment that fostered ball playing (it doesn't cost anything), which yielded proficiency. Period. Most white students grow up in an environment that fosters and supports (psychologically as well as financially) educational pursuits, as well as the well-financed sports outlets that are played for competition and fun but are only seen as secondary pursuits, not a means to an end. If sports have been a "way out" of most black athletes it's because they are exactly that - athletes and they have no other vocational opportunities. I was very proud of Shaquille O'Neill when he went back to finish his degree - even after he became a Laker champion, because he promised his parents he would!! Would I rather play ball for a living? Probably not, but I was also fortunate to have grown up with a step-father who liked to read and would discuss books with me. My brother did not have that option, and his life path, which includes a felony, has been markedly different from mine. The environment required in order to make a plan such as Project 2019 work cannot be ignored. You can't grow crops until the soil has been tilled and the seeds have been planted. I presume your plan is good start.
I also want to make mention of the role I think media plays in shaping the minds of not only young people, but everyone today, regarding the capabilities and potentialities of a certain race of people. The mass media giants have had no qualms magnifying the athletic, artistic, sexual, criminal aspects of the black culture. When black children grow up seeing this, who else are they going to respect? For my money, kids would be better served with internet access than cable, but people living in poverty have been trained to live now because tomorrow is not promised to you. They take their welfare checks and/or drug and buy HBO and 100.00 sneakers. When a drug-money economy proliferates your neighborhood, and drug dealers can make more in a day than what I make in a week, who are kids going to respect? When a general sense of hopelessness pervades most poverty-stricken communities, who gives a whip about long-range career goals? Long-range anything.
One more word about the media. A Caucasian respondent to your website seemed perplexed as to why there was no media generation or publicity for Project 2019. I'm not surprised. Anything that is truly uplifting and could cause a major historical shift for blacks is usually ignored by the media at large. I think you know why.
As I close, my goal as wealthy man ("If I were king..." Haha), would be to start African-based public/private schools in conjunction with black churches; similar to what the orthodox Jews do for their children with synagogues. I would propose curricula to teach African-American grades (1-8) children about THEIR history, pre and post 1619, and grades (9-12) about how society and politics work and the roles they could choose. I feel that the damaged psyche of a black child (and adult) responds beautifully to all that life has to offer (in an "equal opportunity era" as you call it) if one has a strong sense of self, history and purpose. I feel that the genesis of many problems that face the black community today is that most don't know what you and I know about our history on Earth.
The black church is the greatest, most enduring institution that we have. I love the statement you made about what would happen if all of the black churches got together for a common goal. Well, integration pretty much stamped out that dream; most blacks of means tend to integrate into mixed congregations now because they can. Did integration help us? In some ways yes, but I think it decimated our homogenous communities.
What I wanted you to answer, and perhaps I will find the answer in your book, is how does one address the psychological damage done to African-Americans in order for them to take advantage of equal opportunity? It's not enough to say that we are this way or that. Most blacks don't even know why we are the way we are. I did not know these things until (as you also confided) I started doing slavery research and found the concepts of Willie Lynchism and Jim Crowism, which is still working today (I refer back to my statements above).
Thank God for black men like you with foresight, conviction, intellect and the courage to put it on paper. We have to help ourselves. May God bless us, and you."
Dan Roseman : Chicago, IL
"My comments are intended to encourage everyone to support Project 2019 by attending this year's Annual Conference (April 19th through April 21st). I have attended each of the previous Conferences and will attend the 2002 Conference next month. The Project 2019 Conference is more than worth the time and the very low ticket price. The seminars and workshops are excellent and the Saturday evening banquet is always a classy and fun-filled event. And, of course, the most important thing is that by attending the Conference you can directly help to uplift our people through education and knowledge. I hope to see everyone there."
Name Withheld By Request
"I am white, I have a master's degree, and I am a mid-level corporate executive. I happened upon this site in January of 2000. At the time, I thought "good for African-Americans." They are starting off the new century with a great new approach to solving their age-old problems. I didn't go much beyond the home page that day but what I saw made all the sense in the world to me. I made a point of remembering the name Project 2019 because I truly expected to hear about it on the news or the idea being discussed on some talk show (like Oprah). A year passed and I heard nothing.
In January of 2001, I re-visited the site thinking that I had perhaps missed something. However, based on the Latest News page, it was apparent that while small strides were being made, there was nothing major happening with this idea. This time, I delved a little deeper into the site thinking that maybe this was not that great of an idea after all. To my surprise, the more I read, the more I realized that this was not just a great idea, it was the only logical thing that could be done, in the words of the author, to "save black America." I left the site thinking that, okay it is really just a matter of time before this thing takes off.
January 2002 rolls around and still nothing. This time I was determined to understand why not. After reading even more information that's on the site (including excerpts from the book) and exchanging a couple of emails with the author, Chuck Sanford, I finally understand the many problems that Project 2019 must overcome. I wish Chuck Sanford and all African-Americans the best of luck. I will do what little I can do to help, understanding that, as it has been explained to me, this is something that African-Americans must essentially do for themselves. However, for any African-American who reads these comments, here is the opinion of one white American (with basically nothing to gain and nothing to lose): only Project 2019 can save black America."
William Adams : Chicago, IL
"I just wanted you to know that I enjoyed hearing your lecture and I thought it was very profound and enlightening. It is unfortunate that you did not have the time to speak more about your book. There are two topics that were not discussed that should be elaborated on. First, the issue of some African-Americans who have received degrees not coming back to the neighborhood to contribute to making it better for those who are still struggling. Second, some of our brightest minds have failed to embraced the grassroots of the struggle that allow us to have opportunities to go to school and apply for the different professional occupations. How can we resolve these problems?"
Reply by Chuck Sanford, Author, "Project 2019"
Thank you for your response and your excellent questions. In a sense, you have cut right to the heart of the matter. Before the 1950's and 1960's, there were black successes and there were some black Americans who were in a position to ensure that they had full and equal civil rights. However, it took the Civil Rights "movement" for all of black America to obtain civil rights. The same is also true today regarding educational parity. There will be some black successes - however, it will take a "movement" like Project 2019 for all of black America to reach
I am convinced that once Project 2019 becomes a well-known, popular movement, the problems that you noted will be eliminated. In the past, black Americans who "made it" educationally, were doing so "on their own" and primarily for their own self-interest - not that there is anything wrong with that. However, in the future, those who are inspired and/or aided by Project 2019 will be part of "the movement" and, most assuredly, will want to (or, at the very least, feel obligated to) "give something back to the community." The difference is all about operating independently, in a vacuum - versus - being a part of an grand effort that not only fulfills one's own personal needs and desires but also those of one's community.
You asked how we can solve these problems. The answer is for people like you (who understand the potential of Project 2019 to uplift black America) to become part of the Project 2019 movement. If you have not already done so, take a look at the "HOW "YOU" Can "HELP" The MOVEMENT" page on the Project 2019 web site. Be sure to let me know what you think and how you would like to help.
Robert M. Pellham, Cleveland, Ohio
"Project 2019 is a great idea and I think it is an idea that is long overdue. I see black America being heavily divided over this issue. No one disagrees that education is the key - yet every organization created for networking blacks ends up becoming a political football. I see your approach as being refreshing in this regard. Let me know how I can help."
Linda Cassedor, Houston, Texas
"I read your article "A Legacy Of The Attack On America." Of the many excellent points that you made, one of the most profound is that: "It may be argued that terrorists like Osama bin Laden are only using the Israeli / Palestinian conflict as an excuse to address other grievances or to pursue other agendas. However, if this is the case, it is an equally important reason to eliminate this powder keg on the world stage that serves as fertile ground for sowing seeds of hatred and is used as a rallying point for wars and acts of terrorism." This is so true and it is so amazing that more people do not understand this. You are to be complimented for your clear and logical thinking and your ability to put it into words. I am sure that your Project 2019 will be a great success."
Robert Henderson : Selma, Alabama
"I read the book "Project 2019" a few months ago and have been monitoring the web site ever since. Because it all makes so much sense to me, I kept expecting to see something about Project 2019 on a national television show or hear that it is being endorsed by some big time black celebrities. At first, I could not understand why this has not happened. Then I remembered some things I had read in the last few chapters of the book and I went back and reread them. I now understand better what Project 2019 is up against. Trying to convince people who do not have knowledge or power that "knowledge is power" is like trying to convince someone who has been high every day his life that getting high is the wrong thing to do. This revelation has made me more determined than ever. I will continue to help spread the word. "Knowledge is power."
Ms. A. Robinson : New York
"I have just read your articles and I am truly overwhelmed. Thank you for having the courage and foresight to attempt such an endeavor. I am not a college graduate but I am a student of life. I keep current with what is going on in the world and I am always seeking knowledge. You have just given me a truck full of knowledge. I too believe that education is the key!!!! Without it we will never become more than what we are today. I am going to run out and purchase your book to see how I can contribute to Project 2019. I would buy your book even if I didn't want to contribute to the Project just to support a brother like you. Don't let those who choose to blame whites for everything get you down. Keep on hitting them with the answers - THE TRUTHS - all shut eyes will eventually open."
Leon Johnson, Chicago, IL
"I just wanted to say how much I am looking forward to the Project 2019 Annual Conference. It will be great to meet and fellowship with people who also understand the importance of education and knowledge and what blacks must do to finally catch up with the rest of America."
Name Withheld By Request, Chicago, IL
"I just read the Chicago Tribune (2/19/01) article "Black America's Next Step" written by Charles Sanford. I did not read it once. I read the entire thing a couple of times and I read some parts of it a few more times. The reason why I had to read it and re-read it is not because it did not make sense. It was because it made so much sense that I could not believe it. I can tell you that the first couple of sentences pissed me off. My reaction was "who was this stupid Uncle Tom nigger who did not think that blacks should not be fighting for reparations?" And to tell you the truth, I got even madder as I continued to read and what Mr. Sanford was saying was making sense. When I finally finished reading the entire article all I could say was "damn." I now realize why I had the reaction that I had. I also now realize why 99% of blacks do not want to hear what Mr. Sanford has to say. They want to hear what people like Jesse Jackson have to say.
The best line in the article is that the next step for black America "should not be contingent upon our explaining to and convincing white America to do something for black Americans. It should be based on black Americans doing something for ourselves." Damn, that makes sense. Why are we begging whites to give us something when we are finally in a position to take what ever the hell we want? But as I said, I know why 99% of blacks will be in favor of trying to get reparations and not trying to make Project 2019 work. It is because it is so much easier to sit around and beg somebody to pay you an old debt than it is to get off your (butt) and take what is rightfully yours. For all the good it will do, I am going to tell everybody I know about Project 2019 and try to convince every young black I know to get the best education that they can. When the year 2019 comes, at least I am going to feel like I did the best that I could do."
Michael L. Bell, Chicago, IL
(Written in response to an article by Charles Sanford: "My Criticism Of Jesse Jackson")
"I agree with a good majority of what you have written, however, Jesse Jackson is a man that struggles like the rest of us. Though he has done some great deeds and has, I believe the best of intentions for the African-American/Black community as a whole, he and no other man is our savior. The focus for leadership and change, should always be within ourselves. We should be claiming the small victories within our personal lives. We should seek to first educate ourselves. While formal education is great, it may not be great for everyone. With this being said, it is even more imperative that: a) those without formal training must aggressively seek out those areas in which they can learn, develop, master, and teach, to further elevate and enhance their lives, their families lives, and the quality of life of their communities; b) those with formal education must remain ever-vigilant in carrying the banner for those that cannot or will not hold up their end. The lines of communication and teaching must extend beyond our doorstep, but in order to do this, our house needs to be kept in order.
Rev. Jackson, now confronted by outside judgment, must go back and insure that his house is still intact before going on. Once he has done this, (I believe this whole thing is a rehashing of what occurred at home prior to this public release of information) he should continue with business as usual. What more can he do that would satisfy the public that he has not already done to satiate his family? I believe his greatest duty is to his family, no matter what his station in life.
Why do we always need a role model? How effective is a role model if all we ever do is look for chinks in his/her armor? If we have a role model, do we admire the whole or the expression of the task that creates the model-like forum, hence, the role? If we looked to our own strengths to develop mastery in those areas, would we be role models to ourselves and others? In being a role model, do we ever transcend our humanity and our innate ability to be imperfect? We will stumble, but not fall; therefore, achievement is imminent, where quitting is absent. (This is mine.)
We as a people should change our focus to a "yes you can and here is why and how" attitude. We have heard "no." We have heard all of the excuses why not. We have heard and felt the expression of downtrodden and ambivalent spirits. We know change will not come quick. We know if we fail to try, we will cease to survive. We will have some casualties, save who you can without disabling the team. We have to understand that the team is made up of smaller divisions that must effective at their small levels before the whole team can be effective. We can do and will do!"
Donald J. Mitchell, Los Angeles, CA
"You can put me in the category of those who had a very negative reaction to Project 2019 until I took the time to understand what Project 2019 is all about. My original intent was to write comments stating that Project 2019 was not necessary, that it would not work, that it was a waste of time. However, before I wrote my comments, I decided to read the existing comments to see if others had expressed the same sentiments. In doing so, I saw comments that were close to or exactly the same as the ones I intended to make. I also saw some responses to these comments as well as other comments that indicated how important and how necessary Project 2019 was to black America. I was inspired to take a look at other parts of this web site including some of the articles and excerpts from the "Project 2019" book. I am now anxious to read the entire book. However, I am already convinced of the black community's need for Project 2019. My advice to anyone who plans to comment on Project 2019 is that they should take the time to understand what Project 2019 is all about before jumping to conclusions about its merits."
"I was reviewing some old emails and I must have missed the one where you asked me to comment on Project 2019.
Here is how I feel:
1. Setting White people as our standard to meet is a mistake.
2. Sheer number of college degrees is not a good measure.
3. Education is not for the purpose of getting a better job and making more money.
Your project is excellent, however it is not complete in itself as an all encompassing solution to the plight of our people in America. Our people need an education, but educated people usually can lead themselves into a better condition, not worse (you are probably using money as a measure of success). My point is: Education is what will solve our problems, however not education that is designed to get us to look for a good job, but the kind of education that will free our minds to do for ourselves, instead of cranking out more people for the white workforce. Eventually the market would saturate with educated people and even the educated black people would not be able to find work.
I am "educated." I have my own company. In Detroit, people with H.S. Diplomas can make 80k/yr in the plants with overtime. If money is what you think will bring us equivalency, push for the Auto plants to employ more of our people so that they can get good jobs without much effort and live big. Most educated people I know dont make 80K.
Don't get me wrong. Education is what will solve our problems. Just not "any ol education." The type of education that will solve our is very specific, pointed and focused. ( I got the impression that you are talking about "any ol education" because your measuring stick is much too broad - just a college education - I know black people who have degrees in gym). I don't agree with all that "racism is our problem" and other excuses.
I hope you take this in the proper perspective."
CLICK HERE TO READ REPLY
Reply By: Chuck Sanford, Author, "Project 2019"
Various Comments From The Tom Joyner Message Board
NOTE: A number of comments were made in response to a posting regarding Project 2019 on the Tom Joyner Message Board. (www.tomjoyner.com) CLICK HERE TO READ COMMENTS
Jerry Dowdell, Alabama
"I can not tell you how long I`ve waited to hear someone like you and your organization explain to people of color in America that we are suffering from lack of knowledge of self and education. All too often down here in the Heart of Alabama, the young babies are born to parents with no knowledge or hope of ever teaching them how to become well educated or community leaders.
I`ve worked with many kids, including my own two kids, as well as adults to help motivate, educate (re-educate) them to believe in themselves. However, there seems to be many kids and adults of all colors and races who for whatever reason(s) fight the thought of becoming self reliant and do not feel that anyone cares enough about them to warrant any changes or improvements to their life style.
Tell me what I can do NOW to help preserve the future of our young people Tomorrow!!!"
Reader's Name Withheld
"I stumbled upon your site while attempting to find a precise answer to a disturbing question that was raised by one of my colleagues. I'm teaching a course entitled "Slave Narrative Revisited". While discussing this class
with a fellow instructor he made these comments, "Slavery? Why are you teaching about that? Why can't we just put that behind us?" If an excerpt in your book applies to these questions I would appreciate it if you could
frame the answer I should have given him."
Reply by Chuck Sanford, Author, "Project 2019"
We should teach the history of Slavery for the same reasons that we teach the history of America's valiant struggle for independence or the genius of our founding fathers that led to the world's greatest democracy. All are integral components of American history. If we are to only teach the "positive," the "virtuous," or the "glorious" parts of American history, then we must eliminate a great deal of our history - for example, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, Teapot Dome, Watergate, and Vietnam. And, of course, we must also eliminate the history of Native Americans, black Americans, Japanese-Americans during World War II, and the history of American women before the middle of the 20th century.
Considering that, even in the year 2000, Slavery still comprises 65% of black America's history, it is critical that black Americans learn about the largest and, arguably, the most significant part of our history. It is critical because learning history is not merely an exercise in memorizing what happened in the past, the purpose of learning history is so that we will understand how and why we became the people that we are today. It is only by understanding where we came from and where we are today, that we will know what we must do, or not do, to succeed in the future.
For example, if we did not know the history of Slavery, we would not know that education and knowledge were denied to black Americans for 246 years. More importantly, we would not understand how effective this strategy was in perpetuating Slavery. (White America clearly understood that "knowledge is power.") Nor would we understand how this legacy is the primary reason why black Americans are the least educated, least knowledgeable, and, therefore, the people with the least amount of power in America today. And, finally, without knowledge of the history of Slavery, there would not be a "Project 2019" - the challenge to black Americans to reach educational parity with white America by the year 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of Slavery in America.
Comment From Tom Joyner Message Board
"I applaud your dedication and spirit concerning this subject. I also agree with you about the value of an education. But I disagree with your statement that black America will never reach socioeconomic equality with white America until we reach educational equivalency with white America.
As a group we are already made great strides in education over the past 30 years. However, the average white male with a high schood diploma in some parts of this country can still command more money than a brotha with a bachelors or even a graduate degree (this is true)!
The key to our economic and socioeconomic success lies more in our ability to control our economic power than it is with increasing the educational status of our people. Yes education plays a very important role, but all of our education amounts to nothing (as a group ) if we as a people can't get it together as far as creating viable businesses, employing our own people, and supporting our business and communities."
Reply by Chuck Sanford, Author, "Project 2019"
If what you are saying is that "black America will never reach socioeconomic equality with white America until black Americans control their economic power and get it together as far as creating viable businesses, employing our own people, and supporting our black businesses and communities" - then, I certainly can not disagree with your comment.
There are, in fact, a number of "goals and tasks" that black America MUST accomplish or complete in order to reach socioeconomic equality with white America - and, I am convinced, reaching educational equivalency is one of these tasks. I would hope that you would agree that these goals and tasks are not mutually exclusive and that you would also agree that accomplishing any one of these tasks will facilitate the accomplishing of all of the other tasks. Therefore, if we have any disagreement, it is probably regarding the relative priorities of these tasks. I, personally, believe that it "all" begins with knowledge and education. And, for this reason, I believe that black Americans will be better prepared to "control their economic power," create "viable businesses," etc., if the black Americans who are engaged in these activities have as many MBA's as the white Americans who are successfully engaged in the same activities in their communities.
My concern is that when black Americans do "get it together," as other ethnic groups have done, we will still require education and knowledge (and "credentials") to be successful. In America, if two people have equally brilliant ideas, the million dollar loan is more likely to go to the one with an MBA rather than the one with only a high school education. And, the bottom lines is that, a black person with an MBA has a much greater chance of being successful in business than a black person with only a high school education.
I appreciate your comments and I welcome your continuing dialogue.
Various Comments From The Tom Joyner Message Board
NOTE: A number of comments were made in response to a posting regarding Project 2019 on the Tom Joyner Message Board. (www.tomjoyner.com) CLICK HERE TO READ COMMENTS
"Project 2019 is a brilliant idea and I believe it will eventually become a national movement and it will succeed. I only wish I had your faith in black America accomplishing the goal of "educational equivalency" by 2019. My prediction is that it will be years before most blacks realize that everything you said in your book is true. Unfortunately, by that time, we will be too close to 2019 to make that date. I say all of this not to be pessimistic or discouraging. It is only meant to be a realitic assessment of the situation. I pray that I am wrong. However, even if I am correct, you will have still done more to put black America on the right track than anyone else in the last thirty years."
Marlene R. Dorsey, Atlanta Georgia
"I am not a scholar. I am just an average black woman. Some people say that I am a strong black woman. If I am, it is because I am the mother of two small boys and I am determined to raise them to be two strong black men. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that your book will make my job a whole lot easier. First of all, there is a tremendous amount of history and general knowledge for them to learn from the book. And, of course, there is the premise of Project 2019 that "knowledge is power" and this is the most important lesson of all. I want to assure you and the rest of black America that in the year 2019, my two sons will be college graduates and they will be a part of the generation that will finally help lead black America to the greatness it has been cheated out of for the past four centuries."
Reader's Name Withheld
"I'm a white man who just happened to run across your web site. I saw that you had comments from at least one other white person so I decided to send my comments to you. I really don't know any black people. There are very few in the area I live in. However, I guess I have always had some sympathy for all the problems that black people have. On the other hand, me and my people have our own problems. So I was very happy to see that your idea does not require anything from me or my family. Your Project 2019 is a good idea. I wish you the best of luck with it."
Robert Zarnetske, Esq., M.A., Ed.M., J.D.
"First, let me say that I just finished your book and found myself nodding my head every time I turned a page. I've read a lot of black history, social commentary, and racial analyses. Yours is one of the cleanest, most pragmatic pieces I've ever seen. I think you're right. But more important, I think you've struck on a message that has the rare capacity to convey the power of simple truth, and to persuade.
"Well done" is of course better than "well said," but it's hard to begin to do anything until you have defined the goal. Your Project 2019 seems to be an extraordinary expression of what needs to be done and offers an uncomplicated measure of performance.
I also find it refreshing that you've not tried to come up with some complicated and therefore ultimately unworkable plan. Great ideas are often the product of one mind, but great social changes only happen because of the combined creativity and genius of many. By providing a flexible framework, Project 2019 is posed to accommodate new ideas and will be able to seize on new opportunities as they arise. Like President Kennedy's "moon shot," your Project 2019 sets a clear challenge and provides an incontrovertible measure of success. Nothing more is needed. Anything more might well prove stifling.
You may guess by my name that I am not Black. I'm not. So you may wonder why I would bother to read your book, or check out your web site, or write this note. I was the first person in my family to attend college. I went on to graduate school and professional school. My experience in higher education radically changed me for the better. I know that higher education makes a difference. It vested me with a power that my father could only imagine - a power that no one should be denied, not because justice demands it (though it does), but the future success of America demands it. In 2019, my kids will be graduating from college and graduate school. I would like to think that they will be graduating into a society of strong intellects, a society of powerful thinkers who will be able to solve the problems that they will unfortunately inherit. My kids' future depends on America having enough bright, well trained, minds. It may be true that only Black America can save Black America, but it is equally true that America can't afford for Black America to fail.
To make the point another way -- for nearly four centuries America succeeded by extracting wealth from the land. Physical property was everything. Commerce was all about exchanging this product extracted from the earth for that product extracted from the earth. In the late 20th century, that has started to change. Today, property law isn't so much about real estate, or mineral rights, or anything physical. The real action is in "intellectual property." And that's going to continue. Commerce is now about trading this idea for that intellectual work product. Not, the entire economy, but a huge and growing chunk of it, depends on products extracted from the minds of people. In this new economy, the greatest threat is a shortage of ideas or fertile minds in which to grow them. If the products aren't produced in sufficient quantities, the economy fails. I'm not worried about competition from Black Americans. I am worried about what happens if America loses its edge in the production of ideas and I think the danger is real. Today, we have about a quarter of a billion minds in America - about 1/24 of the world's current stock of minds. By 2019, America's share of minds will drop considerably. Meanwhile, our secondary educational techniques are faltering. The economy and commodities of trade are changing, but our capacity to produce the products demanded in the new economy is not keeping pace.
I will be making a link to the Product 2019 web site from my web page (www.zarnet.com). I don't know what else I can do to help, but I wish you the best of luck."
John F. Murray, Chicago, IL
"I attended one of your recent book-signings. To be honest, my wife forced me to attend. I was just not up for another futile discussion of what is wrong with black America and more vague or unworkable solutions to fix the problems. To my surprise and delight, I was blown away by Project 2019's straightforward and concise definition of the problem and the most logical solution. Blacks are not as educated as whites at a time when education is the primary determinant of socioeconomic success in America. As you pointed out, whites no longer have to discriminate against blacks based on color. Education, or rather, lack of education, is more than enough to keep blacks at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder well into the 21st century. There is no doubt that Project 2019 is the only way to prevent this tragedy and I will do all that I can to ensure that Project 2019 succeeds."
Reader's Name Withheld
"After reading your articles and the comments generated by them, I have to speak out as a Black Pragmatic born and raised in this country 76 years ago. You are oversimplifying the Education factor. Why do all Black remedial programs overlook the character factor when it comes to taking our place in this world? I live in the Tampa Bay area in Florida, and they've recently introduced a new letter to the three R's, it's "C" for character education, and I think it is a terrific addition. We have enough so-called college educated millionaires who wind up in jail today for the most stupid/ignorant offenses you could imagine. Just listen to the interviews of the college educated black atheletes during and after the game. Check out the financial status of our wealthy show business people during and after their careers. There's more to the problem than the lack of a college degree my friends. We need some qualified Parents to solve this problem. I and my 4 children are very capable of competing with our counterparts in all areas of importance."
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Reply By: Chuck Sanford, Author, "Project 2019"
Carl A. Simmons, St. Louis, MO
"Please post my comments on the Project 2019 web site. I have just finished reading your book and I want the world to know that it convinced me that there is hope for black America. I am truly inspired for the first time in years and I intend to act on this. I wish to purchace ten copies of the book, "Project 2019." I am going to do my part to help spread the word."
Linda Ellington, Child Protection Investigator
"I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on one of the most poignant and on-target books I have read in a long time. I found "Project 2019" to be an easy read, yet most compelling and thought provoking. In the past, I have worked with an organization to educate black children through the arts. It was a bittersweet experience because there is such a need and so little community support. As a result, the organization continues to struggle for funding and ultimately the children suffer. I would be honored to assist you with Project 2019 in any way possible. I witness on a daily basis the devastating impact that socioeconomic inequality has on my community. I agree wholeheartedly that education is the answer."
Matthew A. Beech, Wales, United Kingdom
"I received your email about the list of 'Project 2019 Heroes' and I think that it is a great idea to credit the work of those who have contributed to Project 2019. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do in the United Kingdom, or specifically here in Wales. This is an offer of help and a desire to contribute to the cause of Project 2019."
Beverly J. Moore, Auburn University
"I've just run across your website and found it a wonderfully inspiring and deeply challenging commitment to the future of all Americans. I am currently working on my dissertation in EdPsych at Auburn University, AL, and am doing research relevant to identity and education in a juvenile correctional facility. If I had any money (and I will one of these days) I'd be honored to send a donation. Until then, I would like to do all I can to acquaint the local universities, radio stations, and education officials with your Project 2019. You are making an admirable and realistic effort to bring people of color off their economic knees and into the pride of economic freedom. But this is the least of it! More than anything, I cannot imagine the difference it will make to the students themselves as they acquire knowledge (which truly is power) and to the country when we have a citizenry of educated voters - all of us.
I will check on your web page frequently and share the news with as many as I can. Thank you for caring and for taking the initiative to act."
Robert T. Bruce, Jr., Youth Services Center
"I work at a youth detention center where I counsel juveniles. The black youths have very little education. It is difficult to convince these young men to leave the drinking and drugs alone and to believe in disciple and education. However, the Project 2019 information I have exposed them to has had a compelling effect on many of them. They are finally listening and are actually beginning to take the school on campus seriously. I believe that we must use education to elevate the socioeconomic status of black America. It is not an easy task, but it is a task that we can and most complete."
If there is any objective that should command a complete American consensus, it is to ensure that every American has a chance to succeed.
The rungs on the ladder of opportunity in America are crafted in the classroom. The most educated Americans earn, on average, 600 percent more than the least educated Americans. As we approach the 21st century, education becomes more important than ever.
I wish you the best of luck with Project 2019.
United States Senator
Phyllis Freeman-Junior, Associate Professor, Fisk University
"I agree that an increase in the number of African Americans obtaining undergraduate degrees in the US by 2019 would be a landmark moment in the history of African Americans and a wonderful tribute to our ancestors who struggled for freedom and racial equality. However, it is my belief that racism and sexism are thriving in the US!!! A great majority of African Americans do not have equal access to quality health care as evidenced by the high incidences of disease within our communities. Many are preventable; others treatable with early intervention. If we are able to increase the number of minorities with BA or BS degrees, we will be in a better position to aggressively enhance the quality of life for underserved populations. African Americans will regain trust in the health care professionals and the legal system. The Project is outstanding and complements our mission at Fisk and other HBCUs."
Chuck Sanford, Author Project 2019
"Phyllis: Thank you for your encouraging response. I certainly agree that racism and sexism continue to exist in America. However, I am certain that we would also both agree that one effective way to combat these social ills is for women and minorities to become better educated - which is the same point that you made regarding health care. It all comes down to the fact that "knowledge is power" - and this is, of course, the theme and the point of Project 2019."
Phyllis Freeman-Junior, Associate Professor, Fisk University
"You are absolutely correct... education is the only means by which changes can be made and your project is certainly designed to increase minority representation in various occupational fields."
Juanita Martin, Eds., Principal, Perterson-Warren Academy
"Project 2019 is a superb idea. The book should be required reading for every black American - the younger, the better. If black America is to ever solve its problems, now is the time to begin and Project 2019 is the only logical approach. Keep up the good work. Project 2019 is definitely worth the effort."
Calvin L. Lambert
"I just completed Project 2019 and I have never been so excited about the future of black America. For the first time in my lifetime, I feel that black America has a plan. For the first time, I feel that there is something that I can do to help my people. For the first time, I feel that there is hope for black America. I plan to tell everyone that I know about Project 2019 and I encourage all black Americans to help spread the word."