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Newbirth Baptist Church Pastor, Eddie Long, Succumbs at 63

Eddie Long

Eddie Long

On Sunday, January 15, many received the news on the passing of megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long. He was 63-years-old.

Long died after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer, according to a statement by the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. He was a preacher who led an infamous march against same-sex marriage and denounced homosexuality, but he also settled a lawsuit by four young men who said he pressured them into sexual relationships.

“When he spoke, black people all over the country listened to him,” said Shayne Lee, a sociologist who studies the black Pentecostal church. “He was part of the repackaging of Christianity for post-civil rights African-Americans.”

Long’s wife, who stood by him through his rise and fall from national fame, released a statement.

“Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate and be happy for him, knowing he’s at peace,” Vanessa Long said.

Photo Recap: Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches (IECAAC) Hosts 37th Annual MLK Prayer Breakfast

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- On Monday, January 16 the Inland Empire of Concerned African American Churches (IECAAC) held its 37th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast at California State University, San Bernardino. Political, city, and state dignitaries came out to honor Dr. King. After the breakfast, the group went downtown to the statue to continue to honor and celebration. Mayor Carey Davis spoke during the statue acknowledgment.

Photo credit: Reginald Young

Photo credit: Reginald Young

MLK Breakfast Event

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.