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Southland to host variety of events in honor of MLK

Don’t miss Kingdom Day Parade on Jan. 20

Merdies Hayes Managing Editor | 1/16/2020, midnight

There are a variety of exciting, informative, and most of all, inspirational events taking place throughout the Southland in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 20.

The 35th Annual Kingdom Day Parade will take place on Jan. 20, beginning at 10 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Western Avenue. The route will travel west along King Boulevard to Crenshaw Boulevard, and then proceed south to Vernon Avenue.

The annual parade and festival, this year under the theme “Equality for All Humanity-Our Next Step,” celebrates the legacy of the late civil rights icon via music, art and activism. The parade has grown to one of the world’s biggest and most popular celebrations of King’s life.

There will be a number of celebrities, community leaders and politicians riding in the parade, among them Los Angeles native Keke Palmer of “Good Morning America” who will serve as grand marshal; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Los Angeles County Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Janice Hahn; Los Angeles City Councilmen Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Herb Wesson and Curren Price; Reps. Maxine Waters and Karen Bass; State Sen. Holly J. Mitchell, and State Assemblyman Mike Gipson.

There will be a special honor paid to Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Leland Sands, as well as recognition of the late LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger. The Buffalo Soldiers will also be present along with dozens of floats, equestrian units and marching bands.

Parade organizers this year are also calling special attention to the 2020 U.S. Census in an effort to count and record as many persons as possible—particularly in South Los Angeles—to determine an accurate and equitable amount of federal funding to this and surrounding LA County communities.

Sponsors this year include Blue Cross of California, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Chargers, Wells Fargo, City of Los Angeles, Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Interfaith Payer Breakfast takes place just prior to the parade from 8 to 10 a.m. at Holman United Methodist Church, 3320 W. Adams Blvd. The theme is “Building Dr. King’s Beloved Community.” Tickets are $25 each ($250 for a table of 10) and may be purchased online at www.king2020breakfastsclcsc.eventbrite.com. For more details about the prayer breakfast, call (213) 268-3082.

A special King Week Reception takes place tomorrow from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Dr., in Los Angeles. There will be a performance by the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, as well as the exhibition “Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance Art.” Attendees can also visit select galleries at the museum looking back at the life and work of King.

The Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) will host on Saturday, Jan. 18 “Celebration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” at the Skirball Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Featured will be presentations by the winners of the SCLC King Day Oratorical Contest. For details, call (800) 515-2171.