Gay African-Americans march in South LA's Kingdom Day Parade

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Molly Peterson/KPCC

A group carrying signs with the slogan 'Black, gay & here to stay. We are your family' march in the 26th annual King Day Parade in South Los Angeles.

Thousands of people lined Martin Luther King Boulevard in South Los Angeles to pay tribute to the fallen civil rights leader.

It's the 26th annual Kingdom Day Parade – and the first parade for Long Beach resident Chante Craig. Craig walked as part of a group declaring themselves "black, gay and here to stay."

She says Dr. King's words are inspiring to gay blacks seeking tolerance and love.

"Unfortunately, though we live in California, it's a very liberal state but we still have some very conservative views – especially in the black community with churches being such a stronghold in the community. It tends to allow homophobia to spread across the community – and so this is one of our ways to come out and bring some positive exposure to the community and show them what other things we're doing as well."

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, county and state leaders and marching bands from South L.A. high schools took part in the event. A party continues at the parade route's end in Leimert Park.

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