Wave Staff Report
SOUTH LOS ANGELES — For the second year in a row, the Kingdom Day Parade celebrating the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., will not be held this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adrian Dove, chairman of CORE-CA which sponsors the annual parade, said the cancellation was in response to the “severity of serious spikes in COVID hospitalizations in Los Angeles.”
“The entire Board of Directors of the Kingdom Day Parade voted unanimously to take the drastic action of canceling this year’s parade on the street in order to avoid even the faintest possibility of sponsoring a super-spreader event,” Dove said in a statement.
A companion Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Festival produced by the office of City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson also was canceled.
“We will miss the children and families on People’s Street, the live music, and the festive atmosphere,” Harris-Dawson said. “However, we know the health and well-being of the community must come first.”
While the parade and festival, which were scheduled to be held Jan. 17 have been canceled, other events and activities will be held in honor of King, who would have turned 92 on Jan. 15.
The California African American Museum in Exposition Park, will hold its King Day 2022 celebration online from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on January 17. Special programs will be offered virtually throughout the day.
From 11 a.m. to noon, the museum will host a King study group where participants will read and discuss King’s 1967 speech, “A Christmas Sermon on Peace.”
From noon to p.m., librarians from the Los Angeles Public Library will hold Family Story Time, reading books about King and change. The books will include “Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You” by Carole Boston Weatherford, and “Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem” by poet Amanda Gorman. The reading will be followed by a family activity.
At 2 p.m., there will be a musical performance by members of the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, who will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and a medley of classic spirituals and original compositions.
Visitors can view the celebration at caamuseum.org.
Culver City will honor King with an outdoor celebration from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Culver City Senior Center, 3095 Overland Ave. The “MLK Jr. Celebration: Erasing Racism” will begin with a welcoming speech by Culver City Mayor Daniel Lee and will feature actor Gerald C. Rivers who will recite a collection of speeches by King.
Rivers’ speeches will be followed by musical performances of traditional African American spirituals.
Those planning to attend must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masks are required regardless of vaccination status.
The city of Inglewood planned to honor King with a parade at 11 a.m. Jan. 17 followed by a family festival in the parking lot of the Forum that will run until 5 p.m., but announced Jan. 13 that the event had been canceled.
The city of West Hollywood will turn its annual day of service into a two-week virtual donation drive benefitting the city’s Homeless Initiative. The drive will run Jan. 15-31 with donations of cash and gift cards being collected to purchase socks, blankets and sleeping bags for homeless people.
The city is collaborating with West Hollywood Elementary School, Friends of West Hollywood Elementary School, the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station and Los Angeles County agencies.
Donations can be made online at https://secure.qgiv.com/for/homeless or mailed to West Hollywood Homeless Initiative/MLK Day of Service, West Hollywood City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 90069.
The city also is encouraging donations to the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Youth Center, which has posted a “CARE 4 Youth Essentials” wish list on Amazon at lalgbtcenter.org/care4youth.
The 10th Council District in Los Angeles will host a virtual community empowerment training session from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 14 in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.
The training session is designed for community leaders, neighborhood council representatives, residents and members of the religious community, and is being held in partnership with Harvard University Pedagogy & Curriculum Specialist Sarah ElRaheb, who will train participants to craft their “public narrative.”
The three-hour session will allow 200 community members to acquire and refine their skills to further their advocacy efforts and enhance their leadership styles, said Ariana Drummond, deputy for communications and civic engagement for the 10th Council District.
To receive a Zoom link, contact Drummond at Ariana.Drummond@lacity.org.
Shirley Hawkins contributed to this report.