More than 1,000 enthusiastic advocates for Black unity, peace and justice marched from Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. to Leimert Park on Saturday, Feb. 21. The march came on the heels of the highly publicized, and fatal, shootings of several unarmed Black men including 25 year-old mentally ill Los Angeles resident, Ezell Ford.
The march was led by Sentinel Executive Publisher Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. and The Rev. Xavier Thompson along with a host of other community, religious, labor and civic leaders who rallied together along with community members and families to advocate for non-violence and justice within the African American community.
Prominent clergy such as Rev. Thompson, Kelvin Sauls of Holmon United Methodist and J. Edgar Boyd of First AME were all in attendance and played a crucial part in the organizing of this historic march, joining local politicians and celebrities such as legendary female rapper and now activist Yolanda ‘Yo-Yo’ Whitaker on the front lines in the fight for justice.
The four hour march and rally concluded with inspirational speeches before a capacity crowd at Leimert Park. The march integrated several elements, but the primary purpose was uniting the Black community to support and protect Black lives. Both African and American flags were waved high, as community members donned t-shirts with popular phrases such as “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe” printed across them. Ford’s family were the guests of Bakewell and stood in support of the cause.