By Joy Parris (Via Rich Girl Productions)
On Monday, January 15th, 2024, one of the most notable celebrations of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday and his unique life contributions to America and the world will be celebrated again in the heart of South Central Los Angeles on his birthday. This year will constitute the 39th Annual Kingdom Day Parade (aka MLK or King Day Parade). The Theme for January 15, 2024, has been aptly titled “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, Going To The Promised Land”. The parade will be televised live on ABC from 11:00 am-1 pm.
For the past thirty-eight years, the Kingdom Day Parade has been broadcast live on television and has grown from its original small neighborhood event into its current iconic mass celebration with over 200,000 on-site attendees and a viewing audience of over 2.4 million for the past thirteen years on Disney/ABC 7. The mission of the Kingdom Day Parade in LA, as expressed by the Parade’s first Grand Marshall, Stevie Wonder, is different from all other parades in that it was born out of a curative response to America’s ongoing struggle since its beginning, to make a simple majority democracy rule to rise to its calling to achieve true equality for all Americans regardless of their status by gender, age, social or economic status, ancestry, and or so-called race. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, America can become the world’s last best hope for Democracy.
The Kingdom Day Parade (sometimes known as King Day Parade) has always featured surprising innovative entities such as exotic and antique cars, elaborate floats, equestrian units, competitive marching bands, choirs, worldwide musical and dance performance units, and other surprises.
The Kingdom Day Parade has also showcased a distinguished array of Grand Marshals from 1985 to the present. It began with the first Grand Marshal Stevie Wonder and over the years an outstanding list including Little Richard, The Young Jackson Five, former Governors, Mayors, other High Ranking Officials, and Celebrities including Dave Roberts, General Manager/The LA Dodgers, Vice President Kamala Harris and most recently our own Mayor Karen Bass.
In keeping with the parade’s overall mission of uplifting local youth and promoting their future success, this year’s edition will include a Parade King and Queen rather than just a Queen as in the past. This element of the Parade will still be dedicated to the development of future youth leadership involving enthusiastic, broad-scale participation of community organizations, schools, churches, and small, medium, and large businesses with the common goal of continuing the peaceful revolution ignited by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, (1/15/1929-4/4/1968.) a mere 39 years.
About the Kingdom Day Parade:
The Kingdom Day Parade celebrating the life achievements and future destiny of Dr. Martin Luther King, on his birthday is so much more than just another parade. It celebrates and centers around the only National Holiday whose central purpose is to celebrate equality and justice for all people and to fight for it using the most powerful of all weapons: Love, Peace, and aggressive Non-Violence, to overcome, in this potentially most egalitarian Democracy in the history of the world.
The Kingdom Day Parade was founded 39 years ago in 1985 by the late Larry Grant, a retired military officer and local banker in San Diego. Several years later he relocated this parade to South Central Los Angeles where he was joined by General Celes King III and Adrian Dove, who were then serving as CORE-CA’s Chairman and President respectively of CORE-CA. This Parade’s transfer of location from San Diego to Los Angeles also coincided with the street renaming of Martin Luther King Boulevard from its previous name Santa Barbara Ave.
Dr. Adrian Dove, then President of CORE-CA, initially served as Financial Management Officer due to his extensive experience in tax abatements and financial management from his former experience as Senior Budget Examiner of his many years in the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and as Minority Business Development Executive Assistant and MBE program developer under Mayor Tom Bradley. Dove joined With General Celes King III, to bring in sponsors and interface positively with community leaders.
After the passing of General Celes King III in 2003, his CORE-CA successor, Adrian Dove continued his work together with founder Larry Grant as Chairman of CORE-CA and became the head of the organizing sponsor of the Kingdom Day Parade. Upon the passing of Larry Grant in 2012 Dr. Dove continued the role of Chairman of CORE-CA and as Chairman of The Kingdom Day Parade. In this capacity, he relaunched the exclusive multi-year contract with ABC 7 and expanded sponsorship along with recruiting an in-house professional staff.
In the wake of the Rodney King LAPD beating on March 3rd,1991, and the murder of Black youth Latasha Harlins by inner-city Korean store owner Soon Ja Du on March 16th,1991 who had erroneously accused Latasha of shoplifting, which sparked serious tensions between the Korean and Black communities of Los Angeles amid the 1992 Black uprising after the acquittal of the four LAPD officers in the Rodney King’s case and then Judge Joyce A. Karlins’s probation sentence of Soon Ja Du for the murder of Latasha Harlins. It was in the midst of this perilously threatening climate of hostility between the Korean and Black communities that The Kingdom Day Parade leaders Grant, King, and Dove felt it was important to do whatever was necessary to bring peace back to the city which would have been of utmost priority for Dr.King were he alive. They reached out and brought into their inner circle of the parade a Korean Community peacemaker named Grand Master Tong Suk Chun.
To become a Participant, Volunteer, or Sponsor or for more information, visit the website at: www.kingdomdayparade.org
Twitter : www.twitter.com/kingdayparade
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ESHE Magazine Editor In Chief David Jordan Jr and Martin Luther King III
Media Contact: Joy Parris