People say that birthdays are for looking forward to gifts. Here are 40 I would like to see put in place for Dr. King’s birthday in 2012 and beyond.

People say that birthdays are for looking forward to gifts. Here are 40 I would like to see put in place for Dr. King’s birthday in 2012 and beyond.

1. The re-commitment of Black people, particularly Black families, to God as evidenced through the collective actions of Black people towards each other

2. The elevation of Black consciousness to the importance and role of education to the advancement of our people

3. The understanding that Black people in America can not and should not relinquish their tangible status as constitutionally-protected Americans in 2012 and beyond

4. The eradication of no less than 50 percent of the zones of violence hampering our communities over the course of the next 7 years

5. The re-introduction of strong, selfless Black men onto the primary stages of American public life.

6. The desire to have one’s voices heard in the political process during every election cycle.

7. The election of a President of the United States that is openly willing and able to aid the reversal of Black plight in today’s urban America.

8. The creation of avenues that will allow a notable segment of the Black America student body to elevate their grades by no less than one whole letter grade collectively within seven years

9. The establishment of at least one new, successful urban-based job center in 10 cities within 10 years

10. The recalibration of the definition of racism, racial adversaries, and racial advocates/allies in the 21st century based on today’s realities

11. The acceptance of the mainstream that there is a 21st century style of racism that plays a role in the formation of expectations, opportunities, and manifestations in the lives of a vast majority of young Black lives today

12. The overt celebration of Black romantic love and the heightened esteem of successful Black marriages

13. The eradication of the n-word mindset, which will take care of the word and its silent and toxic effects

14. The acceptance that our world is more diverse and, thus, we can not collectively deal with the majority within America with a 1960s mindset while trying to thrive in a 21st century world

15. The ability to disagree within America with honor while maintaining one’s passion for one’s beliefs.

16. The re-connection of the multiple socioeconomic classes within Black America before our legacy is permanently fragmented

17. The empowerment of the Black underclass with education, elections, and esteem

18. The empowerment of Black business owners with consumer confidence and cash flow from banks and partner businesses

19. The re-development of the positive African-American image in the realms of radio, television, film, and other aspects of media

20. The expanded definition of beauty, grace, and class within Black America and within how the rest of America accepts those definitions of Black Americans, particularly and especially Black women

21. The expansion of Blacks into both political parties so that Blacks can have tangible power within the Republican Party and Democratic Party that will last for generations in an upward-trending crescendo

22. Outwardly expressions of respect for Black elders in common, everyday interactions

23. The acceptance and successful endeavors to advance a deeper, more tangible level of partnerships with other cultures within America without the same level of mistrust and other negative emotions that have been found in various urban areas over recent decades

24. The steady and notable increase of young Black men with college degrees

25. The steady and notable decrease of young Black men populating jails and coffins over the course of the next 5-10 years

26. The halting of Black youth desecrating their bodies and minds

27. The uplifting of the spiritual revolution of Black youth and halting the sexualization of Black youth

28. The creation of a safe zone mindset for our elementary school-aged children so that they can learn without the worry and level of distraction that they currently attend school with

29. An insurance that our school children have access to technology and literary resources to compete currently in the 21st century, including books that are current and technology that connects our children to the rest of the world.

30. The establishment of tangible and long-lasting opportunities for Black youth (particularly Black men) to build communication skills to heal personally and build professionally.

31. Building an increase in the life expectancy of Black people collectively by 5-7 years within one generation.

32. The ushering-in of the new era of Black chivalry within our communities.

33. The reinvigoration of Black churches as strong, moral, and grounded civic leaders to advance the best interests of our community members.

34. The emergence of a softer, gentler people that can still be strong when necessary and mighty in the face of crisis.

35. The increased collective ability of our people to create visions that can become realities.

36. The civic fortitude from more elected officials to demand that economic equality and educational balance be implemented into our society immediately.

37. The standard that every African-American child read one book a month based on their grade level.

38. The increase of Black children in math and sciences by 100 percent within one generation.

39. The eradication of Black fatherlessness as an accepted way of life by our families, our churches, the family courts, and through our social mores within 10 years.

40. The emergence of a new core set of cooperative, unstoppable Black leaders from Generation X and Generation Y to imprint their visions of a safer, healthier, and more prosperous America (and notably Black America) into our reality within five years

Lenny McAllister is a political commentator every Saturday on “CNN Saturday Morning” at 10:30 a.m. CT Check the latest “Getting Ready to Get Right” podcast from Lenny at

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