Culver City Observer -

Culver Commemorates King Day


January 17, 2013

Acclaimed Actor Roger Guenveur Smith and Black Entertainment Television (BET) personality April Sutton will co-host Culver City’s 8th annual Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration, “Realizing the Dream, Living the Legacy.”

The event will be on Saturday, January 19, at the Culver City Senior Center, 4095 Overland Avenue in Culver City. Famed Civil Rights activist and former Holman United Methodist Senior Pastor James L. Lawson will deliver the keynote address.

The day-long celebration commemorating Dr. King will kick-off at noon. Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

Reverend James L. Lawson was a key figure in the struggle for equal rights and a close friend of Dr. King. Lawson spent three years as a Methodist missionary in India where he was deeply influenced by the philosophy and techniques of non violent resistance. He introduced these principles to many future leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.

In 1968, at Lawson's request, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to the striking sanitation workers on the day before his assassination. Lawson moved to Los Angeles in 1974 to lead Holman United Methodist Church in the West Adams District of Los Angeles where he served as pastor for 25 years before retiring in 1999.

Roger Guenveur Smith has had lead roles in several of Spike Lee’s films including Malcolm X, Do the right Thing, He Got Game and Get on the Bus. He also had a starring role as Nate in Ridley Scott’s 2007 hit film, American Gangster.

Award-winning Television Broadcast Pioneer April Sutton was the youngest Inductee in the Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Sutton’s entertainment reports have covered the Oscar Awards, Grammy Music Awards, Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and American Music Awards.

Culver City’s King Day celebration will include a screening of the critically acclaimed documentary “Realizing the Dream, Living the Legacy.” Freedom Riders, students who challenged the South’s Jim Crow segregation laws in the 1960s, will have a panel discussion on the struggle for racial equality. Actor Gerald Rivers will deliver a recitation of Dr. King’s “I have a Dream” speech, and UCLA African American Studies Professor Dr. Darnell Hunt will speak on the significance and the historical impact of Dr. King and the civil rights movement. Students from Culver City Unified School District will commemorate the city’s King Day celebration with a reading of essays on the topic of “Realizing the Dream, Living the Legacy.”

Musical entertainment will include the West Los Angeles College Jazz Ensemble, a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by the Agape Children’s Choir, and the recording artist Chikk will perform the “Star Spangled Banner.”

For a detailed roster of events, visit www.culvercity.orgor call (310) 253-6675.


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