It’s raining today, in LA, and it’s Martin Luther King Day and I m here with the journalist. In 1968 the proposal for a day of remembrance, a national holiday, was cited. In 1980 there was a tour of America headlined by Stevie Wonder, supported by Gil Scott Heron campaigning to make Martin Luther King Day a national holiday. Finally they arrived in Washington to present Coretta Scott King with six million signatures. It took until 1986 for the first national observance of the day. Here’s how it became a national holiday.
So it’s not with a little pride that The Journalist and I drive down to Martin Luther King Jnr Boulevard, to the parade at 11am on a grey Los Angeles Morning. The streets were lined with black American families. In New York Gil Scott Heron makes a broadcast and reads poems for the day he helped create. You can hear it click here.
We found the perfect spot by the street and watched as black army officers police officers
cowboys musical parades with their cheerleading troops marched past to the hooting and hollering of an excited if drenched crowd. This was no ghetto side show. The Lord Mayor of Los Angeles came over to shake hands, The Chief of police, The Los Angeles Beauty Queen and Stevie Wonder himself, sat on top of an open top car only two feet away from me. These were black Americans, performers and audience alike, spending the day celebrating what they had fought for and become. It’s their country, their day and they know it.