Freedom Festival (Shelby Stephens, L.A. Sentinel)


The moment you cross Degnan Blvd. in Los Angeles, you are quickly reminded of the rich culture and captivating spirit of Leimert Park. This year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Festival was held on Saturday, February 25, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Regency West in the historical Leimert Park Village. Hosted by the office of L.A. City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, friends and neighbors gathered to enjoy the community for music, food, art, activism, and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King during the last weekend of Black History Month.

This year’s theme, Justice Together, encourages the community to unite and celebrate what makes Black culture so unique. In addition to the planned activities, residents were also able to get information about careers with L.A City. This event is intended to strengthen the community and partner with local vendors and individuals to continue the strong traditions of art and Black expression.


Leimert Park (Shelby Stephens, L.A. Sentinel)

Retuning for its seventh installment of Freedom Fest, the energy was unmatched at the Regency West as The Wild Bunch band and D.J/ artist Linafornia performed. Right after, the Why We Sing Choir uplifted attendees’ spirits with their renditions of The Black National Anthem and Melodies from Heaven. They ended their performance with a praise dance that followed a standing ovation from the audience. The choir also performed a George Floyd monologue, acting out some of the reactions of those around the country when the news broke of his murder in the summer of 2020.

Related Links:

MLK Freedom Festival Celebrates the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Reminds Us of the History of Leimert Park – Los Angeles Sentinel (

Los Angeles City Councilmembers Host Martin Luther King Festival and Freedom Fair – Los Angeles Sentinel (


Vocal stylist Skyler Raye and The Fernando Pullum Youth Center showcased Black achievement with a Coltrane-inspired jazz performance. Joining the line-up were The Syncopated Ladies, the award-winning Robey Theatre Company, South Central Spits Fire, featuring Bridgette Bianca, GusTavo Guerra Vasquez, and Jaha Zainbu. Closing the show was Grammy-nominated artist D Smoke, from Inglewood, CA.


Yvonne Farrow & Linafornia (Shelby Stephens, L.A. Sentinel)

Although there was heavy rain, all entertainment acts and community activities were relocated inside. Other city officials were in attendance, like Council President Pro Tempore Curren Price and Councilmember Heather Hutt.


As the festival concluded, all who attended left hopeful, rejuvenated, and excited for the future of Leimert Park. The Village continues to be a safe space for Black culture as the community gets more exposure and respect for its place in Los Angeles.

Regency West (Shelby Stephens, L.A. Sentinel)