The nation will be celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on Monday, January 18, 2010. Festivities for the Martin Luther King Jr., Day were celebrated a couple of days early in Inglewood at the 27th Annual King Day Celebration. The 2010 theme was “The Unfolding Dream.”
The event was celebrated with a rousing ecumenical service at the Tabernacle of Faithful Central Bible Church. The program featured an inspiring keynote address by Dr. Ralph C. Watkins, (aka-The Hip Hop Pastor), Executive Minister of First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles (F.A.M.E.), speaking on the topic “What do Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Little Wayne Have In Common” and a roof raising performance by the city of Refuge P.S.A.L.M.S Choir (2009 Regional winner of the “How Sweet the Sound” choir competition). Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson (The Game) served as Mistress of Ceremony. Actors James Pickens Jr., (Grey’s Anatomy), and Malcolm David Kelly (Lost) served as Grand Marshals.
The ecumenical service also featured dynamic speeches in the King Day speech contest. This is always my favorite part of the program. Youth presents superb speeches with calmness and ease. Category k-2 winner, Heaven Lee Williams, age 7, 2nd grade, Category 3-5 winner , Jezelle De Leon, age 8, 3rd grade, Category 6-8 winner, Anthony Jones, age 11, 6th grade and Category 9-12 winner, Gerald Evans, age 17, 12th grade gave flawless, rousing speeches on the theme “What is My Purpose in the Unfolding Dream?” All winners received cash prize and a certificate of recognition from the Inglewood City Council.
Thousands of marchers took to the streets to reenact, in a tribute to Dr. King, the symbolic marches of the 1960’s, from Tabernacle of Faithful Central Bible Church to Hollywood Park for the Family Festival.
The march was followed by the King Day Family Festival which featured fulfilled live entertainment, food, arts, crafts, commercial vendors, and many inter-active games.
The City of Inglewood should be applauded as being one of the first cities in the nation to designate Dr. King’s birthday as a legal holiday. Another round of applause should be extended for the City’s King Day Celebration which consistently promises and delivers an enriching and reflective experience for the entire family.