First came the 1963 “March on Washington,” then came the “Million Man March” of 1995. Now Lenny McAllister of Charlotte has launched what he calls the “Festive 40-Day Fast for the Future.”
No, the 37-year-old McAllister isn’t asking anyone to forgo food or drink. But like the civil rights mileposts that proceeded him, McAllister says he wants to shed national light on the plight of black America.
On his website, lennymcallister.com, he has called for the black community nationwide to implement the following goals for the 40-day period stretching from President Obama’s inauguration to the end of Black History Month:
1. No Black-initiated crime during the 40 days (thus, calling a truce, if you will)
2. No Black truancy from school during the 40 days (to celebrate accomplishment, not disengagement)
3. No Black-on-Black violence or murder during the 40 days (to celebrate life, not death)
4. “No b****es, no n**gaz, no jiggas, and no h**s” for 40 days (to usher in a return of Black Chivalry)
His campaign has gotten sporadic press coverage from some in the national media. And tomorrow in Charlotte, McAllister said, he has scheduled a 2 p.m. press conference at the Government Center to talk about the 40-day fast.
McAllister said he invited a host of community activists and every black elected official in Mecklenburg County. He invited no white officeholders, he said, because he believes African Americans first must address their own concerns.
If you never heard of Lenny McAllister, there may be good reason. He’s slowly gaining notoriety as a conservative commentator on CNN, Fox news, BET and NPR. He also is an occasional guest columnist for the Washington Post-owned website, theroot.com.
In an interview today with Qcitymetro.com, McAllister said his efforts are sincere.
“This isn’t going to lead to a march,” he said. “This isn’t going to lead to some grandiose manifest.” Instead, he said, he simply wants to remove the “poison” that is killing so many black communities.
Wilkinson said that in the excitement surrounding Obama’s election and inauguration, he was struck that “this is a very poignant time to try and rally the troops to break through an even more significant glass ceiling.”
Wilkinson said he has gotten calls from as far away as California, New York and Chicago. An inauguration-related interview he gave currently is featured on Tavis Smiley’s Internet homepage.
“It’s powerful to see African Americans, young and old, men and women, say we’re going to unite behind this short-term goal,” he said.