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Los Angeles Community Continues Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy Through Kingdom Day Parade and Celebration

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. 

Farewell and Job Well Done Barack

By Naomi K. Bonman

Many of us watched, and probably got emotional, our 44th President Barack Obama’s farewell address on Tuesday, January 10. Can you believe 8 years flew by!

The quote that struck out the most in Obama’s address was this one: “I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written: Yes, we can.” -President Barack Obama

Many of us watched, and probably got emotional, our 44th President Barack Obama’s farewell address on Tuesday, January 10. Can you believe 8 years flew by! The quote that struck out the most in Obama’s address was this one: “I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written: Yes, we can.” -President Barack Obama We have watched the girls, Malia and Sasha, grow up into beautiful and sophisticated young women. We have also watched in admiration of the chemistry and commitment that Michelle and Barack have towards one another. And as a country, although we still have a lot more to accomplish, we have seen countless accomplishments made by President Obama and his administration. More jobs gave been created that has brought the economy back to a much stable state, and millions of Americans now have affordable healthcare. I commend Barack for all his hard work and for staying strong and grounded with every racist and prejudice remark that was thrown against him. He proved the odds, that yes a Black man can become President or any other profession that others may try to deny him. Barack, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia…you all will be sincerely missed. have watched the girls, Malia and Sasha, grow up into beautiful and sophisticated young women. We have also watched in admiration of the chemistry and commitment that Michelle and Barack have towards one another. And as a country, although we still have a lot more to accomplish, we have seen countless accomplishments made by President Obama and his administration.

More jobs gave been created that has brought the economy back to a much stable state, and millions of Americans now have affordable healthcare.

I commend Barack for all his hard work and for staying strong and grounded with every racist and prejudice remark that was thrown against him. He proved the odds, that yes a Black man can become President or any other profession that others may try to deny him.

Barack, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia…you all will be sincerely missed.

Alpha Phi Alpha/Alpha Kappa Alpha Host Oratorical Contest

RIALTO, CA– The Mu Xi Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., in collaboration with the Eta Nu Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., partner with the Riverside Unified School District to present the 28th Annual Oratorical Contest, being held at Central Middle School in Riverside, on Saturday, February 4, 2017, beginning at 9 a.m.

The aim of the contest is to give area students an opportunity to showcase their speech writing, and oral delivery talents for distinguished guests, family, friends, and community leaders. The event is open to any student in grades 1 through 12. Participants are grouped into 3 grade groups, and three cash awards are presented in each group.

Deadline for applications to be received is January 26, 2017. Due to initial expressed interest, participation will be limited. Students interested in competing are urged to submit an application early. Speeches do NOT have to be completed, to submit an application.

For information on the contest, or to request an application, contact Mr. Kevin Eastman at: eastke1@yahoo.com, or Mrs. Samantha Dotson at: samantha.dotson524@gmail.com. All Riverside Unified School District students should contact Dr. Keyisha Holmes for information: kholmes@rusd.k12.ca.us.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., are community service organizations that service the Inland Empire, by providing mentoring programs for adolescents, and are in involved in numerous social activities and causes through the Inland Empire.

For more information on Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, visit: www.apa1906.net. For more information on Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, visit: www.aka1908.com. Information on the Riverside Unified School District may be found on the district web page: www.rusdlink.org.