The Kingdom Day Parade is back on its regular schedule after the COVID-19 interruptions with distinguished Attorney George C. Fatheree III as grand marshal. It will kick off this year on Monday, Jan. 16. This year’s theme is: “America, the Best Hope of the World.” 

As America’s largest Martin Luther King celebration, the parade, featuring floats, a queen and royal court, elected officials, local high school and college marching bands, will march along a three-mile route, starting at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Western Avenue and ending near the new Leimert Park subway station. 

Local residents will be able to watch all the festivities either in person along the parade route or live on ABC7, beginning at 11 a.m. The parade will also be live-streamed world-wide on KingdomDayParade.org. BlueShield is the presenting sponsor of the Kingdom Day Parade.

“With messages of equality for all amplified during Dr. King’s birthday, George Fatheree is a natural pick as the grand marshal for the parade, given not only his recent historic victory in the  Bruce’s Beach case and a host of other similar cases,” said Dr. Adrian Dove, chairman of CORE-C.A. Kingdom Day Parade.

Fatheree was a former partner with Munger, Tolles & Olson when he decided to launch the pro bono case of Bruce’s Beach. 

Now a partner at the Sidley Austin LLP — one of the country’s leading strategic legal advisers representing investors, developers and lenders in a wide array of large and complex commercial real estate transactions — he brought the case of Bruce’s Beach into the national spotlight,  intensifying the conversation of trans-generational wealth in Black families.

Charles and Willa Bruce were a young Black couple who, in 1912, bought land in the city of Manhattan Beach, Calif. and created their own hospitality business called Bruce’s Beach. The venue drew a successful clientele of Black vacationers from across the United States. 

When attempts by neighbors to force them out of business failed, the City of Manhattan Beach resorted to taking the property from them. In 1924, officials did so under the false pretenses of building a park, claiming eminent domain, which is frequently invoked for public infrastructure changes that disproportionately impacts minority land owners.

Fatheree’s team at his prior firm first helped review Senate Bill 796 new state legislation  specifically written to pave the way for Los Angeles County to return this land to the Bruce family. 

In signing the bill into law on September 30, 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom stated that he hoped the bill would inspire similar legislation to help other Black families like the Bruces, who are still struggling to recover, financially and emotionally, from the devastating impact of racially-motivated displacement. 

Last July, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors at the behest of Supervisor Janice Hahn officially turned the deed for the land over to the Bruce family. 

Thanks to Fatheree, Bruce’s Beach became a touchstone case for the state, country and world, shining a global spotlight on the case for reparations.

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