Proud and strong the community of South Los Angeles came together Monday morning to celebrate a day named for one of the greatest American civil rights leaders.
“Martin Luther King meant a lot to us as black people and actually to the world,” parade watcher, Salim Uqdah, said.
Thousands of people lined the parade route to watch what organizers touted is the nation’s largest celebration of MLK’s life and legacy.
“I love the festivities – the parade – the joyous occasion – it’s a joyous occasion,” Doreen Johnson said.
LAPD’s motorcycle brigade kicked off the festivities followed by student marching bands, politicians, cheerleaders and more than 300 other entry’s dancing and floating their way down King Boulevard.
“My favorite part is the bands,” Eunyque Breaus said while watching. “I love big bands and the New Orleans band is classic.”
While the parade can get hectic and loud, some onlookers find the scene peaceful.
“No fighting, no arguing,” Valeria Golden said. “It’s a peaceful day for us.”
For many families, watching the parade is a yearly tradition.
Brenda Sears started a new tradition with her grandson.
“They need to know where they came from what Martin Luther King stood for,” Sears said.
The theme of this year’s parade was summed up in one simple statement – “Our work here is not yet done.”
“There’s been a little progress, but we have a long way to go still,” one onlooker said.
Several organizations capitalized on that feeling with political messages from Black Lives Matter and California’s Proposition 47.
The parade provided an opportunity to preach equality for all just like Dr. King intended.
“He could be proud of this moment,” Golden said. “If he was here I believe he would say good job.”