Lora King, the daughter of the late Rodney King, announced the “I am a King” scholarship to celebrate Black fathers on Monday, which is the 27th anniversary of the start of the L.A. Riots.
Rodney became an activist and cultural fixture in the conversation about police brutality after a video was captured of him being repeatedly beaten up by police on March 3, 1991. The four cops involved in the violent encounter were tried on charges of use of excessive force. In 1992, however, a jury acquitted three of them and failed to reach a verdict on the fourth cop. Hours later, the acquittals sparked the riots, which lasted six days.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the scholarship will range in value and be issued periodically. The purpose of the fund is to help Black fathers in financial need to have the opportunity to spend time with their children by covering activity costs including “dinner and a game of miniature golf” or an “all-expenses-paid trip to Disneyland.”
Lora, 35, revealed the $3.8 million settlement her father received from the city in 1994 allowed him to aid his children in seeing life outside of Los Angeles. She hopes the I Am a King scholarship will also remove those financial barriers for other fathers.
Rodney was found dead in his swimming pool in 2012, just a couple of months after releasing his memoir, The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption.
He spent much of his life advocating for racial equality but his legacy has not be honored in the way his daughter hoped it would be.
“Who knows if they will ever acknowledge him in the way that they should,” the 35-year-old told the news publication. “He really didn’t care for that. He just cared about making a difference in people’s lives and creating change.”
The scholarship is just one way Lora will keep her dad’s legacy alive. Black fathers can apply by visiting the rodneyking.org and submitting a picture and an essay about what they plan to do with the money.
You can also donate to the foundation’s initative on GoFundMe.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.