Doug Jones, Alabama's Democratic senator, made history in 2017 when he was elected to the traditionally red state. Since his victory over alleged sexual predator (and racist) Roy Moore, the former prosecutor has been on a mission to serve all people.

His win came as a surprise to many — but not to black women who contributed 98 percent of his votes. Now, those same black women and other black residents of Alabama, are making sure Jones maintains his promise to establish a more progressive Alabama. 

Blavity had a conversation with Jones about his opinions and plans to address several issues that disproportionately impact the black community. He says he acknowledges the importance in funding Alabama's 14 — more than any other state — HBCUs, rural Alabama's rise in maternal mortality, and the need to address the health of black mothers.

Jones also provided his take on what the Democratic party needs to win the South, and what is being done to improve the state's unjust criminal justice system.

In honor of Dr. King's legacy, senators recently took turns reading excerpts of his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Jones was emotional as he read Dr. King's poignant words written over 50 years ago. The senator told Blavity the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. were just as necessary in 2019. 

"We need that kind of leadership now more than ever," said Jones of Dr. King. "My favorite line [from the letter] is, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' That goes beyond just black and white issues today. It looks at immigration, gender, [and] religion. We need to look at where we were, what we did, and how far we've come, because we seem to be moving back a little bit."

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