City of Inglewood 26th Annual King Day Celebration
Inglewood-The City of Inglewood celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a celebration, march and family festival on January 17, 2009.
The celebration began with an ecumenical service at 9 a.m. At The Tabernacle of Faithful Central Bible Church at 321 North Eucalyptus Ave. The theme for the historic King Day Weekend Celebration was “We have the Opportunity to Make America a Better Nation.”
The program opened with the Prayer of Invocation and Scripture Reading by Pastor Austin Williams, Pastor, True Vine Baptist Church. The Inglewood High School Color Guard Presented The Colors. The crowd was led in the Pledge of Allegiance by Marco Suarez, 2009 Dr. Martin Luther King Day Planning Committee member of Hillcrest High School. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was performed superbly by Melissa Myatt, student of Honors High School.
Mt. Rubidoux SDA, under the direction of Dr. Alan Woodson, performed “The Presence of the Lord is Here” and “Does Anybody Remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” was performed by The Parent Elementary School Choir. Victory in Praise Dance Ministry, Central Baptist Church entertained the crowd.
Henry Brown, Chairman, Dr. Martin Luther King Day Planning Committee welcomed everyone to the splendid event. Councilman Ralph L. Franklin, District 4, acknowledged his colleagues of the Inglewood City Council and members of the Inglewood Unified School Board and other dignitaries in the audience.
Dr. Kenneth Crowe, Pastor, Avalon Church of Christ were the Keynote Speaker. He spoke on the days theme “We have an Opportunity to make America a Better Nation” by encouraging everyone to “Keep Learning; Keep Loving; Keep Laboring; Keep Leaving (the past behind); and Keep Leaning on God.”
Dr. Joice Bailey-Lewis, Interim Superintendent, Inglewood Unified School District introduced the Speech Contest Winners who spoke eloquently on the theme “We have the Opportunity to make America a Better Nation.” The winners were Savaughna Mayo-Early Elementary Winner of Parent Elementary School, Enrique Montelongo-Elementary Winner of Highland Elementary School, Brian James Green-Middle School Winner of Monroe Middle School and Tan-Talaysha Bailey-High School Winner of City Honors High School. Art contest winners were Giovanni De Santiago-First Place Winner, Anthony Flores-Second Place Winner and Leandro Juarez-Third Place Winner. All winners received a cash prize and a certificate of recognition from the Inglewood City Council.
Inspirational speeches were also delivered by the Grand Marshals-Glynn Thurman (actor), Allyson Felix (2008 Olympic Gold Medalist) and Kim Coles (actress). Michaela Pereira- KTLA Morning Co-anchor served as Mistress of Ceremony. The program concluded with The Benediction.
More than a thousand people marched from The Tabernacle of Faithful Central Bible Church to re-enact the 1960’s civil rights marches. The march consisted of Inglewood Unified School District’s marching bands, drill teams, honor society, choir and jazz bands, the Tuskegee Airmen unsung war heroes, Montford Point Marine Association and the famous Buffalo Soldiers.
A free family festival was held on the grounds of Hollywood Park Racetrack that featured live entertainment, food, arts and crafts, interactive games, KJLH personalities, and giveaways.