King Week events begin; preserving Black history in Las Vegas

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Wednesday is the start of King Week in Las Vegas and there are lots of events planned to honor the life and legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior.

One of the events will be the MLK parade in downtown Las Vegas, which is celebrating its 40th year. There will be decorated floats and school bands taking part in the Monday parade.

Those who were born and raised in Las Vegas have witnessed the progress of the city in regards to social justice and racial equality but the parade is still a reminder that more work needs to be done.

The Martin Luther King Junior statue is at MLK Blvd. and Carey Ave. (Credit: KLAS-TV)

“If we don’t understand our history then we can’t move forward to the future. Knowing the history of Las Vegas and that it was a very segregated city. It wasn’t until the 1960s with the signing of the Moulin Rouge agreement to desegregate the Las Vegas Strip. We know Dr. King came here to help fight for peoples’ rights and fight for equality. We need to recognize and understand that,” said Cedric Crear, Las Vegas city councilman.

Crear also discussed what local leaders are doing to ensure Black history is preserved. The Historic Westside Legacy Park is located at MLK and Lake Mead boulevards. It honors 36 trailblazers and more will be added in the coming years.

He also added the Westside is undergoing changes with its workforce development plans and beautification grants.

“In the next five to 10 years the Historic Westside will look completely different than what it is now. I think we will have advancements in our housing, more restaurants, other businesses taking place. We are in the process of taking Jackson Avenue, which is one of the original streets in the corridor and we have a revitalize street program,” Crear said.

The MLK parade will be Monday, Jan. 17 at 10 a.m. in downtown Las Vegas along Fourth Street. You can see a list of all the events planned at this link.

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