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Parade and rally to honor King draw hundreds

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Kaniela Jones, 11, proudly carried his "I Have a Dream" sign as he marched with the Voyager Public Charter School group in yesterday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade.
  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Scores of spectators lined the parade route on Kalakaua Avenue.
  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM
    United Public Workers showed their support.
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Marching in the Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Waikiki yesterday with her family, Latashia Ingram said she wanted her 8-year-old son to appreciate King’s struggle and sacrifice for equality and justice. He stood for equality and civil rights for all, said Ingram, who moved to Hawaii from St. Louis a year ago.

COMMUNITY LEADERS TO BE LAUDED

The Hawaii Friends of Civil Rights will honor community leaders committed to "promoting civil rights, diversity and justice" at the fourth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Friends Awards Dinner at 5 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Waialae Country Club.

Honorees include Jack Law, owner of Hula’s Bar and Lei Stand; former state Sen. Gary Hooser; and Bettye Jo Harris, who helped lead efforts to establish the King holiday in Hawaii.

Tickets are $60 per person. Tables for 10 are available for $2,000. Cocktail or business attire preferred. For reservations and more information, call Faye Kennedy at 732-4987 or contact Amy Agbayani at agbayani@hawaii.edu. — Star-Advertiser staff

Ingram was among hundreds who converged at Kapiolani Park after the parade for the annual unity rally to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Since 1989 the Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition of Hawaii has organized the parade and rally in Waikiki.

Singers and dancers entertained attendees at the park as many sunk their teeth into some ono soul food: ribs, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and peach cobbler, to name a few.

Ingram said she wants to teach her son, Micah, that one day he too can make a difference — like the late civil and human rights leader — in any cause where his passion lies.

King touched so many people worldwide, said attendee Akio Ewing. As a child, Ewing, a native of LaGrange, Ga., recalled how his grandparents taught him about King’s vital impact on civil rights for African-Americans. He was a man of character and courage, he said.

Jewel McDonald, event coordinator for the unity rally, was honored as the grand marshal at the parade along Kalakaua Avenue. Volunteering countless hours to coordinate the rally for the past 22 years, McDonald said, "I have enjoyed it. It’s been a long, good ride."

McDonald is stepping down as events coordinator but will continue to remain an active member of the Martin Luther King Coalition of Hawaii and other organizations, including her role as membership chairwoman for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People-Hawaii Chapter.

One by one a steady stream of people stopped by to say hello to McDonald as well as seek her assistance with rally-related tasks as she sat under a canopy tent shaded by a banyan tree.

"This has truly been my baby," she said of the rally.

 

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