Marcus is one of a number of black conservatives who have joined up with, and helped lead, the conservative tea party movement since its inception. Though the movement has attracted criticism for its supposed lack of diversity — MSNBC host Chris Matthews recently called the groups “monochromatic” and “all white” — those minority activists who are involved say the movement has little to do with race, and that it is attracting a more diverse crowd every day.

“I think a lot of black people are waking up from their Obama night-of-the-living-dead fog,” Marcus said. “They were walking around like zombies going Obama, Obama, Obama.”

He and other black conservatives connected with one of the hundreds of tea party groups across America were largely active in conservative and Republican causes before the movement’s start in early 2009. They spoke and wrote about the need for smaller government, lower spending and lower taxes and warned that Obama’s candidacy would pose a threat to those values.

But in the tea party movement they found a group that not only reflected their views but provided a platform.