Official Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

January 18th, 2021 (Nashville, TN)  – “Today, we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Personally and professionally, I cannot sum into thanks my admiration for the sacrifices of Dr. King and his family to create a path for people like me to continue to champion the rights of working class people.  

“As the first Black Chair of Tennessee’s Democratic Party, I’m honored to be a part of a reckoning happening across our nation. Leaders like Stacey Abrams have devoted their lives to protecting the vote and empowering Georgians to elect their first Black Senator, Reverend Raphael Warnock, alongside another Democratic newcomer, Senator-elect Jon Ossof. Just down the road in Jackson, Mississippi, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba tirelessly advocates for progressive values, following in the footsteps of his father, Civil Rights icon Chokwe Antar Lumumba Sr. This summer, Nikema Williams did not hesitate to step up and carry the torch of Congressman John Lewis’ life work as the Consciousness of Congress. And last, but certainly not least, this week in our Nation’s capital, we will witness history again as the United States swears in its first Black Female Vice President, Kamala Harris. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march through my hometown of Memphis was not in vain. The Nation is responding, but there is much work to be done, especially in Tennessee. 

“Just last week, Republicans in the Tennessee Legislature denied health insurance to hundreds of thousands of Tennesseeans, predominantly Black and Brown. This past summer, as millions protested brutal and grotesque racist policing, Tennessee’s GOP called a special session with the goal of silencing protestors and stripping them of their right to vote. Republicans in Tennessee’s General Assembly will pretend to honor Dr. King’s legacy today but we must hold them accountable for their regressive policies that strip Black and Brown people, women, workers, our LGTBQ+ neighbors, immigrants, and families of their rights. As your new TNDP chair, I promise you I will hold these lawmakers accountable and work tirelessly to elect leaders who work for all Tennesseans.

“Today, as we celebrate Dr. King’s life and legacy, we must recommit ourselves to the values he gave his life for: justice, equity, and progress for all.” – Hendrell Remus, TNDP Chair