By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer
(Los Angeles, Ca.) – FAMLI, Inc presented Walk a Mile for Malcolm in the hopes of honoring the legacy of human rights advocate Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz), by adding his name to a 5-mile stretch of Crenshaw Blvd.
Torrence Brannon-Reese, Founding Director and Board Member, FAMLI Inc, was joined by a broad coalition of local businesses, leaders, property owners, educators and residents for a Press Conference to urge Los Angeles City Councilmembers to join them in adding Malcolm X Blvd. to a five mile stretch of Crenshaw Blvd.
The dynamic array of speakers spoke encouraging and uplifting words of support for the Malcolm X. Blvd co-naming petition. This list of speakers featured Dr. Michael Datcher, Author, Poet, Professor, and Engaged Scholar; Dwight Trible, musician and Executive Director The World Stage; Brother RW Akile, President Kwanzaa People of Color, Organizer of the Annual Kwanzaa Gwaride and Festival; Channing Martinez, Director of Organizer Labor-Community Strategy Center; Rev. Dr. Mello R. Desire, Intelligence Matters Alliance; Tia Lopez, Founder/Director- Crenshaw Entrepreneur Academy; Laneay L. London, MSW/CEO- Serenity Village Developments.
The Press Conference got underway with welcoming remarks from Torrence Brannon-Reese, followed by Brother RW Akile honoring our ancestors with Libation.
Michael Khalfani- Disco Daddy, aka, MEGA-byTE and Thelma Davis Martin surprise Mr. Reese with a special Certificate of Achievement/Recognition for his commitment and dedication to uplifting the youths and community as a whole. Disco Daddy was the first DJ, MC and rap recording artist on the West Coast and is referred to as the Father of West Coast Hip Hop. Disco Daddy is the Creator/Founder of “The World Famous L.A. Breakers Break Dancing Company. Disco Daddy and Thelma Davis Martin are members of ‘original Soul Train Gang.’
Volunteers fanned out to various businesses along Crenshaw Blvd. to drum up support as part of the signature-gathering campaign.
The program concluded with an exciting, engaging and entertaining concert featuring Torrence Brannon-Reese and the New Orleans-style “Everything is Soul” band. As the name states, the crowd were groovin’ and vibing on the People’s Street Plaza, in front of the historic Vision Theater.
Starting at the I-10/Rosa Parks Freeway, Malcolm X Blvd, will advance south intersecting Obama Blvd, West Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Nipsey Hussle Square (at Slauson Avenue) ending at 79th Street. “Martin Luther King Jr, representing the dream, Obama, the progress and Nipsey Hussle, the promise in our youth, all connected by Malcolm’s strength and dedication” state Torrence Brannon-Reese.
“We are aiming to rename the street. Just like it was done in Harlem, we are adding the name Malcolm X to it. This honors one of our greatest heroes, acknowledges the deep cultural significance of the area, now being rebranded as Destination Crenshaw, while fully embracing the iconic symbol Crenshaw Boulevard has become” stated Shaka Satori, President, African-American Legacy Network.
Increase awareness about who Malcolm X really was, his global legacy, current tools such as social media, recent economic revitalization and a changing political climate has prompted the group to move forward with the effort.