For the 21st year, the City of Inglewood will recount the numerous contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at its annual march and ecumenical service on Saturday, January 17, 2004. This year’s event is significant in that it will highlight Dr. King’s role as a “drum major for peace.” It is also the first time the City has held its celebration on a Saturday, instead of the actual King Day holiday, Monday, January 19. Please join us!
An exciting line-up of renowned leaders, celebrities and talented groups has teamed up to make this event the best ever. It’s anticipated that the event will draw its largest crowd ever. “This year we changed the date to Saturday instead of the actual King Day holiday,” said George Dotson, chair of the 2004 MLK Day Planning Committee. “By doing so, we believe we will have a captive audience. Participants are less likely to be torn between Inglewood’s event and King Day activities taking place in other cities.”
The City will kick-off its King Day celebration with a commemorative civil rights march beginning at 8:00 a.m. at Hollywood Park, Gate 8, on 90th Street. The march will be led by co-Grand Marshals John W. Mack, president of the Los Angeles Urban League, Victoria Rowell, who portrays the character “Drucilla Winters” on the CBS soap opera “The Young and the Restless,” and Channel 4 television newscaster Chris Schauble. Highlighting the march will be performances by drill teams, bands and pep squads representing all of Inglewood’s schools and several churches throughout the City. Free morning refreshments will be provided compliments of Hollywood Park.
Marchers will leave the gates at Hollywood Park at 8:00 a.m. and will travel north on Kareem Court; head west on Manchester Boulevard; north on Prairie Avenue; west on Regent Street; and north on Eucalyptus Avenue to the parking lot of The Tabernacle at Faithful Central Bible Church located at 321 N. Eucalyptus Avenue.
Immediately following the march, the City will begin its ecumenical service at 10:00 a.m. in the sanctuary at The Tabernacle. “This is a day to promote peace and forgiveness. The King Day Planning Committee has put together a great program that will not only celebrate the life and works of Dr. King – as a “drum major for peace”, but it will recognize our individual roles as peace-builders and peace keepers,” said Dotson. The event will also highlight countywide efforts to reduce and eliminate the senseless gang violence plaguing many communities.
The program will feature an inspiring keynote address by Dr. Cecil L. “Chip” Murray, Senior Pastor of First African Methodist Episcopal Church (First A.M.E.). KABC Channel 7 newscaster Leslie Sykes will serve as Mistress of Ceremony for the program and the First A.M.E. Brookinaires Choir will provide handclapping and toe-tapping entertainment during the program.
Also featured will be this year’s dynamic winners of the King Day speech contest. Winners were selected in four grade categories representing the early elementary (K-2); elementary (3-5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12) grade levels. This year’s speech contest topic for grades K-6 is “From a Dream to an Action: What can I do to carry out Dr. King’s Principles in 2004 and beyond?”; the topic for grades 7-12 is “Words of a Lifetime: The Past, Present and Future Effects of Dr. Kings Work.”
Individuals and groups interested in celebrating Dr. King’s legacy through the promotion of a regional “Day of Peace and Forgiveness” are invited to attend Inglewood’s King Day march and ecumenical service. Free shuttle service will be available for March participants.
Groups who want to participate in the March should register by calling the City’s Cultural Office at (310) 412-8700. For more information about the King Day Celebration, contact the Cultural Office or visit the City’s website at www.cityofinglewood.org (Search keyword: MLK).