For Release: June 9, 2004
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x106
Black Activists Mourn the Passing of Ronald Reagan Project 21 Members Call Former President a "Great Leader"
As the nation's capital prepares for the public viewing and state funeral of former President Ronald Reagan, members of the African-American leadership network Project 21 are expressing their profound sympathies to the late president's family and friends and celebrating his achievements in making America stronger and spreading freedom and liberty throughout the world.
To follow are personal comments from Project 21 members about President Reagan and his legacy:
* Ak'Bar Shabazz (Atlanta, Georgia): "We all mourn the passing of a great leader. As Americans, we bask in the freedoms that Reagan had the clarity of vision to secure. All future presidents will be measured by the great examples that he provided."
* James Coleman (Los Angeles, California): "I spent my youth as a leftist radical after becoming disillusioned with what I saw as the hesitant policies of the civil rights mainstream. Ronald Reagan convinced me that the conservative movement was my home. As for African-Americans, we can only hope that someday we all recognize the benefits we experienced and continue to experience from the Reagan legacy. Black businesses and businesses owned by women prospered greatly in the 80s. There is a national purpose that was solidified and set the basis for the optimism that sustains our youth and keeps our military vital in such dangerous times. Whether we realize it or not, Ronald Reagan set a philosophical tone that lasts to this day and may indeed sustain us through the hard times ahead."
* Donald Scoggins (Springfield, Virginia): "Through his determination and forward thinking, President Reagan paved the way that saw the destruction of communism abroad, as well as here at home. After decades of paralyzing government social programs, Reagan was instrumental in establishing a national climate that allowed for the elimination of welfare as we know it."
* Mychal Massie (Zion Hill, Pennsylvania): "Leaders such as the late President Reagan can only be fully appreciated in their passing. While they are admired and referenced in life, it is history that ultimately provides their legacy. I believe that history will reward Ronald Reagan with the honor he justly deserves. He reminded America that ours was a country to be proud of and that our way of life was the envy of the world. And this he did in a way few have before him and none have since him."
Several Project 21 members took part in a candlelight vigil held at Lafayette Park across from the White House on Sunday, June 6.
Project 21 has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x106 or Project21@nationalcenter.org, or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.
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