A crowd of people estimated in the tens of thousands lined up along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in South Los Angeles on Monday for the 30th annual Kingdom Day Parade.
Among the 3,000 participants in the parade, which included floats and marching bands, were men in suits holding signs emblazoned with the words “Black Lives Matter.” The group was followed by a red bus filled with people sending the same message as women and children standing on top waved to the crowd.
Alfred McCall attended the festivities for the first time in 30 years. A South Carolina native, McCall said the parade was an important tribute to a man who opened doors for all races.
“I used to listen to Dr. King’s messages on records,” he said as Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, the parade’s grand marshal, drove down the boulevard.
“His message was not just for people of color,” he said, “but for everybody.”
Standing in front of an L.A. Metro stop that displayed a poster for the movie “Selma,” Edward Anderson talked about the importance of sharing King’s legacy.
Anderson, 24, said spreading the icon’s message would create a sense of solidarity and hope.
“It’s good to remind young people of his legacy and to march forward,” he said.
As he looked on, officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol marched down the block.
“Seeing people of color in positions of power reinforces that you have a future, you can make a difference in your community,” Anderson said.