Reconstruction Period Research Forum
Operation Tennessee Waltz
Posted By Andy Wise 5/28/05
Updated May 28, 2005
By Andy Wise
NEW SARDIS BAPTIST CHURCH, SOUTHEAST MEMPHIS -- FBI agents and federal prosecutors call the bust of state senators John Ford, Kathryn Bowers and former state senator Roscoe Dixon "Operation Tennessee Waltz."
Saturday, local African-American leaders announced they won't dance with those candidates anymore.
"We will dance with the next generation," said Dr. L. LaSimba M. Gray, Jr., head of the Memphis satellite of the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH coalition.
Dr. Gray, Jr., said the group has launched "Operation Next Generation" to recruit, inspire and train younger African-American men and women to run for office and replace the old guard they say has failed them.
"Many may have stayed too long," he said. "Our goal is to have a cadre of young, informed, equipped and inspired citizens ready to qualify and seek political office in the year 2006."
The coalition is also organizing a city and county wide day of prayer by Thursday, June 2, to pray for wisdom and guidance in finding qualified political candidates.
Below is the complete text of Dr. Gray, Jr.'s prepared statement: