Special ceremony held
King Week 2005 kicked off in Los Angeles with a special ceremony held on January 7 at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
Presented by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles and the Martin Luther King Legacy Association, the public event was attended by members of the organizations and Mayor James Hahn, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Assemblywoman Karen Bass and Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa. Leslie Sykes, news anchor for ABC7, was the Mistress of Ceremonies.
The theme for King Week this year is “Building a Peaceful World House” and the speakers at the event all expressed the sentiment that although it is important to honor Dr. King, it is equally important to realize that racism and sexism are still very much an issue in the United States.
“Martin Luther King is a convenient holiday for the United States,” said Rev. James Lawson, one of the principal architects of America's civil rights movement and an associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “It’s a day where people can say, ‘Look, we’ve solved our problems, we have a Martin Luther King holiday, racism is over, racial inequality is over, and if people are still poor...it is their fault.’”
Rev. Lawson stated that this type of thinking misses the point of the civil rights movement and misinterprets the legacy of Dr. King. For Lawson, King was the Moses of his generation, an inconvenient hero that challenged the status quo and whose work must be continued to this day.
Assemblywoman Karen Bass agrees.
“This is not a day of rest,” she said, echoing the sentiments of all the speakers. “This is a day for recollection and clarity. The work is not over.”
The ceremony was also a chance for the speakers to talk about Dr. King’s contributions to lifting the “curtain of exclusion in Los Angeles.”
“The finest contribution that came out of the 1950s and the 1960s wasn’t the Civil Rights Bill, it is that signs were taken down in Glendale, Calif., that said that blacks better not find themselves in that area after sundown,” said Rev. Lawson. “There were places all around California where minorities could not enter.”
Mayor James Hahn agreed, recalling how his father, the late Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, was one of the first local politicians to embrace Dr. King and acknowledging that much work is still needed before King’s dream of racial and economic equality is realized.
Hahn talked about the recent tsunami and how many people in this country are victims of milder ”tsunamis” every day that hold them back from their dreams and drown them before they can reach their goals.
“We must work on every level, no matter who we are,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters. “We need something that anchors us, inspires us, binds us together, now more then ever.”
Future events being held by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Martin Luther King Legacy Association for King Week are an open house, a Martin Luther King prayer breakfast at West Angeles Church of God in Christ, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Breakfast on January 14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the King/Drew Trauma Center Community Forum on January 15 at Watts Labor Community Action Committee headquarters, and the 28th Annual MLK Birthday Dinner Celebration, featuring Congresswoman Maxine Waters as the featured speaker, on January 28th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
For more information, call (323) 290-4100.
Hundreds of potential hires turned out on Thursday to meet with subcontractors for the Forum Renovation Project.
The meeting was held at Faithful Central Bible Church, the former owner of the Forum. The historic but rundown arena in Inglewood was sold to Madison Square Garden in June 2012.
The facility, built in 1967, was the former home of the Lakers and Kings, and the site of numerous memorable rock concerts.
Buffalo Wild Wings franchise owners Karim Webb and Edward Barnett have announced that their Torrance and Baldwin Hills locations will donate $1 from each chocolate fudge cake purchased through April 26 to the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts in response to the bombings at the Boston Marathon. “It’s a small gesture but a symbol of our support of the people in Boston,” explained co-owner Barnett.
Carter G. Woodson’s initial 1926 “Negro History Week” included both the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. But even the now-expanded monthlong commemoration is too short to contain all the exciting goings-on. Case in point—the Pan African Film Festival.
African Americans have been the most rapidly advancing oppressed people in the history of the world, according to some major historians. To come from brutal and hard slavery, with virtually no legal basic human rights, to rise to lawmakers, local leaders and ultimately the presidency of the United States of America within a 400-year span is a feat surpassed by few, if any other people.
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
3650 W. Martin Luther King Blvd.. Los Angeles
(Outside WalMart-Upper Level)
Oct. 13: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Oct. 15: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Oct. 16: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Oct. 17: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Oct. 20: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
City of Refuge Church
14527 S. San Pedro St., Gardena
Oct. 17: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Oct. 14, 21: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and 6 p.m.-9 p.m.