Do we need a parade to honor MLK—or is it time for real change?

For 33 years, Long Beach has hosted a parade in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While the 34th annual parade was canceled this past January, this may be a good time to ask how a parade furthers the true message of the civil rights leader, and how a parade benefits the Black community.

The annual parade is funded in part through the city’s special advertising and promotions budget (which comes from the Transient Occupancy Tax assessed to hotels) and Council District 6 discretionary funds.

But, could this year’s budgeted amount for the canceled event, roughly $59,000, be better used to support the Black community? We’ll explore that question in this week’s edition of The Word on Long Beach.

PODCAST: A year ago, Long Beach vowed racial justice reforms. What’s happened since?

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Jackie Rae is a multimedia reporter for the Long Beach Post who joined in May 2021.