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July, 2006

California farm town approves Martin Luther King Day

On March 16, 2006, Rev. Floyd D. Harris Jr., California state president of The National Action Network, monitored the City of Hanford, a small farm town south of Fresno in the San Joaquin Valley. This is one of the most poverty-stricken areas in the United States.

The City of Hanford has treated the African American community without regard to equality or fairness, especially when it comes to providing public services. Coke Park, on the south side of Hanford, where the majority of people of color reside, has snakes crawling in it because of the farmland and the refusal of the Park District to do upkeep. The park grass looks two to three feet high in some areas of the park. The children can’t run or kick balls because the grass is too tall. On the contrary, when you travel to the north end of Hanford in the affluent white neighborhoods, the parks are immaculate and inviting.

Rev. Harris put the City under surveillance to make Dr. Martin Luther King’s Holiday a reality for all of America, “the land of the free,” including the City of Hanford. Dr. King was tired of seeing inequality, injustices, and unfairness, and fought to end the strife between the haves and the have nots. The group said they would expose the city nationally if the politicians ignored the request, that they would not tolerate the City showing such indifference to poor communities. The Hanford City Council voted yes, to have a Dr. King holiday without further delay.

The victory in Hanford should give other Black community leaders and lay people motivation to educate their people, not just with words but also with action. Black history is the human race’s history.

Rev. Floyd D. Harris Jr
California State President National Action Network
www.nancal.org
559-264-0097 (office)
559 803- 0286 (cell)


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