Two groups in the High Desert paid tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. on January, 20, the day honoring his life and dream of unity.
The 9th annual commemorative peace march was held in the morning in front of Victorville City Hall was hosted by the High Desert Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The theme was Milestones in Civil Rights History.
Later that afternoon, the High Desert Black Heritage Committee held it’s annual show entitled Moving Toward a Better Tomorrow, celebrating the legacy and memory of Dr. King at the Victor Valley College Performing Arts Center.
The march was led by the Air Force ROTC Color Guard from the Academy for Academic Excellence, and several youth spoke to the crowd during a ceremony following the march, including fifth-grader Annissa Lucero and Silverado High student Kaliyah Gardner, who spoke of King’s vision of unity.
Other youth speakers talked about King’s “I have a dream” address, as well as Rosa Parks — an African-American civil rights activist whom the United States Congress proclaimed as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.”
Adelanto Mayor Charley Glasper and councilman Jermaine Wright Sr., both spoke about educating youth to help keep King’s vision alive. including the history of racial unity for all people, whether African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, or other races.
Some of the groups participating in the march included the NAACP, Air Force ROTC Color Guard from the Academy for Academic Excellence, the Victorville Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Alpha Connection, Tuskeegee Airmen, Delta Academy and Gems, No Drugs America Coalition, National Council of Negro Women High Desert Chapter, among others.
The annual performance at Victor Valley College began with a video tribute to Dr. King, which was followed by celebrations in music, dance, comedy, speech, proclamations and awards.
Speakers included Black Heritage Committee President Thomas Lee, Victor Valley College Black Student Union representative Tamara Thomas, and San Bernardino County Supervisor Lovingood’s representative Victoria Hill.
Group performances were given by God’s Chosen Vessels, Cali Creez Movement. Individual acts included Kevin Herat, JT “Smoove,” Dorian Moore, Tayari Kuanda III, Ayani Brewster, Yuri Venable, and Emoni West.