Edited and Re-written by Naomi K. Bonman
LOS ANGELES, CA- This year marked the 32nd annual Kingdom Day Parade which was held on Monday, January 16 in South Los Angeles. Each year the parade brings our dignitaries to help honor the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr.
Groups that participated in the 2017 Kingdom Day Parade included a New Orleans-style brass band with dancers from the Los Angeles Korean Dance Academy. The 200,000 people crowd loved the band. The band also brought in more diversity to the celebration, something that King would be pleased to see and fought for.
One thing that was different and brought to light during this year’s parade was the impending inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, which had the focus of some officials’ attention on how they would push back against the new administration’s policies and decisions. Others referenced the parade’s theme: “Now more than ever, we all must work together.”
“We are confronting a dichotomy of democracy — something that is unique in our history,” state Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) said at a breakfast before the parade. “More than ever, California must remain a beacon of hope and opportunity in an uncertain world.”
He continued, “California will never appease anyone who seeks to undermine our economic prosperity and fundamental human rights.”
Los Angeles County health workers, including nurses and technicians, marched in protest of a possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s landmark healthcare legislation. And L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas marched with them, holding a sign that read, “Obamacare Works.”
Other groups celebrating at the parade Monday included representatives from local labor unions and law enforcement agencies, as well as high school marching bands and the Omega Psi Phi fraternity — the first predominately black fraternity to be founded at a historically black university. Another float, sponsored by Denny’s and adorned in gold and green tinsel, displayed a large photo of the slain civil rights leader.
“We stand with him, and with the community, in trying to support all the things that he stood for,” Ronald Smothers, who owns a Denny’s restaurant on Crenshaw Boulevard, said in an interview with ABC 7.