Rodney King Scholarship 2019
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Rodney King's Daughter Launches "I'm A King" Scholarship For Black Fathers

Lora King is reshaping her father's legacy with the touching scholarship program. 

Lora King was just seven-years-old when her father Rodney King was brutally beaten by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. Recorded by a bystander, the footage became a monument in police brutality against people of color and inspired the infamous L.A. riots of 1992. As we rest on the 27th anniversary of the riots, King's daughter has launched a special scholarship for black fathers.

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, King explained how the scholarship will help benefit black fathers by way of covering costs of family activities as simple as dinner to potentially larger activities like an all-expenses-paid trip to Disneyland. The "I Am A King" scholarship falls under the Rodney King Foundation for Social Justice and Human Rights she launched in 2016.

“As long as I continue to follow my vision, he will always be represented," King said of the scholarship. As her father was thrown into the limelight, his past followed him and gave critics an opportunity to verbally beat his name in the public.

King's case predates the efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement and also reflects the nature of how trauma from police brutality took a toll on King's life. The Sacramento native continued to battle with alcoholism following the incident and the acquittal of Sgt. Stacey C. Koon and officers Timothy E. Wind, Laurence M. Powell and Theodore J. Briseno in 1992. Koon and Powell were later sentenced to two and a half years in prison in a second trial.

But to Lora, her father wasn't a flawed civil rights figure. He was a humble man who wanted to make a life for his children as smooth as possible. After being awarded $3.8 million in damages, Lora told the outlet he helped foster her talents like paying for leadership camps and art programs. They also took trips to art exhibitions frequently and surfed in Venice. With the "I Am a King" scholarship, King Is hoping that fathers can do the same with the children, strengthening their bonds with every memorable moment.

To apply, black fathers can go to the Rodney King Foundation site where they will submit a picture and a short essay about their plans for the scholarship money. The first awards are expected to be handed out on Father's Day, which happens to be day she lost her father and the due date for her first son.

Several private donors have already backed the program with more than $10,000 in donations. Lora’s hope is that the bulk of the funds for this program will come from private donors, while the general public can support the program.

“I want to help build up what was burnt down,” she said.

King died in 2012 in an accidental drowning, leaving behind his children and fiancee, Cynthia Kelly. Just a few weeks before his death, King spoke with OWN's Where Are They Know series where he talked about his memoir The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption and what he wanted his legacy to be.

"The world knows me as a person who got beat up by the cops, the real Rodney King is the 'Can't we all get along type of guy,'" he said. "I'm a different man than I was 20 years ago. I wouldn't change anything, because if it didn't happen to me, it would be a slower process in people getting along."

Learn more about the "I Am A King" scholarship here.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Usher, Ludacris And Lil Jon Reunite After 16 Years For “Sex Beat”

Reigniting their chemistry on wax since 2004's "Lovers and Friends" and "Yeah!" Usher, Ludacris, and Lil Jon finally released the long-awaited "Sex Beat" that was teased during a "Verzuz" battle between T-Pain and Lil Jon earlier this month. The melody turns seduction's level to hot and heavy with each word, upping the ante for another full-length R&B project from Usher.

The “Stay At Home” singer recently had a chat with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe where he gave props to Ludacris style of rap and why the trio is the perfect blend of a vocalist, lyricist, and producer.

“So easy for us to disregard how incredible of a lyricist Ludacris is because they moved on to the new idea, the new... But when he comes out over the tracks that we do, he always comes with vengeance,” Usher said. “His wordplay and just his execution is amazing, right? And I think that when Jon he produces, he produces with a very specific idea of how broad our reach is, right? And me as a vocalist, I'm always trying to make sure that you said it, the sweetness is there. We can give these blows with fists closed or we can close right at impact.”

It's been quite a week for Usher, who inadvertently made headlines when The Weeknd stated his House of Balloons melodies seemed to have influenced Usher's "Climax" song, which was produced by Diplo. As all three music industry heavyweights chimed in, the #ClimaxChallenge took off showcasing various people's falsetto capabilities, even Usher casually hit his notes to show why his longevity in the industry can't be touched. In another interview with Lowe, Usher explained, in length, the process behind "Climax" and why he was at first apprehensive to record it.

I think Climax was one of those ones because I felt like it was so advanced in the nature of what it was. Me and Diplo, we were trying to do something that would raise the bar for R&B. Yeah, I made R&B hit records before and, yeah, Diplo, he could do many things. But I said, 'Is there any way to tie these two worlds together?' This world that was happening as an emotion for EDM, but do it in a way through using R&B. And he's like, 'Yo, I think that this...' And it took me forever to be okay with letting it go, to just like, okay, offer it to the world and care not what people think, just put it out knowing that...In it, by the way, was an under story. I was literally in a relationship with a person who I wouldn't commit to and would not get to the place of like, all right, let me commit to you and make this more than just something that's frivolous and something that is a physical thing. And it just so happened that the climax was there too. But the reality is, the conversation in it, I was like, man, I just feel like this might be too much for people. I don't know if they're going to think I'm overthinking it. I just said, 'I just feel like I should be classic R&B. I want to sing in a way that no one else does in this time over a track that I know doesn't fit there. It's going to freak people in R&B and is going to freak people out who are more alternative. I think that it's going to...' Because people don't sing in falsetto when you get to that level. They just don't. They don't go in that area. So, yeah, but that was one.

Listen to "Sex Beat" above.

Continue Reading
Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris

Fred The Godson’s Wife, LeeAnn Jemmott, Says He’s “Progressing”

An update on Fred The Godson’s health status has his fans feeling hopeful. The rapper’s wife, LeeAnn Jemmott, shared with XXL Magazine that her spouse’s health is improving as he’s being treated for the COVID-19 virus.

"Fred is currently in the ICU. He is Cov-19 positive on a ventilator. However, he is progressing! He went in having difficulty breathing on Monday evening (April 6),” Jemmott said. “Tuesday morning (April 7), I received a call he was not going to make it because his lungs were not working. He was then put on a ventilator, and as of today (24 hours later), the doctors already weaned him down from 100 percent support to 40 percent support of ventilation." Jemmott continued to state that he has no sign of an infection but his kidneys have been impacted. He began dialysis immediately after.

"Fred is going to make it," she continued. "God is good!"

Earlier this week, the Bronx native posted a photo of himself on Instagram calling for prayers as he was hooked up to a ventilator. According to The New York Times, New York State has upwards of 159,937 confirmed cases for COVID-19. Although medical officials are reporting a decrease in the number of hospitalizations, the death toll rose within the state to upwards of 7,067.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I’m in here wit this Corvus 19 shit! Please keep me in y’all prayers!!!! 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿 #godisgreat

A post shared by Fred The Godson Aka Gordo (@fredthegodsonmusic) on Apr 6, 2020 at 12:57pm PDT

Continue Reading
Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Rihanna And Twitter CEO Donate $4 Million To Help Domestic Violence Survivors Amid Pandemic

Rihanna and her Clara Lionel Foundation are teaming with Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, to donate a combined $4.2 million to aid domestic violence victims amid the global pandemic.

“We’re joining forces with Twitter/Square CEO @Jack today by co-founding a $4.2 million grant to the Mayors Fund LA to address the current crisis for domestic violence victims in Los Angeles as a result of the COVID-19 Safer at Home Order,” reads a message posted to the Clara Lionel Foundation’s Instagram account on Thursday (April 9).

Dorsey pledged $1 billion towards COVID-19 relief, which he announced earlier in the week. The $4.2 million donation ($2.1 million from Rihanna's foundation and $2.1 million from Dorsey) will provide 10 weeks of support which includes shelter, meals and counseling for domestic violence survivors and their children “at a time when shelter are full and incidents are on the rise.”

Domestic violence rates have spiked around the world amid the coronavirus outbreak. Advocates fear that mandatory stay-at-home orders, loss of employment and economic stress along with school closures and court closures will make it harder for people in abusive relationship to seek assistance.

“For someone in an abusive relationship this is kind of a worst-case scenario,” Alyson Messenger, a managing staff attorney for domestic violence organization, the Jenesse Center, told the Los Angeles Times. “Compound that with the fact that access to service is more difficult than ever.”

In addition to her latest act of generosity, Rih Rih has donated $5 million in COVID-19 relief aid and sent supplies for health care workers in New York. She also sent a ventilator to her father after he contracted the viral disease.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

We're joining forces with Twitter/Square CEO @Jack today by co-funding a $4.2 million grant to the #MayorsFundforLA to address the current crisis for domestic violence victims in Los Angeles as a result of the COVID-19 Safer at Home Order. These funds will provide 10 weeks of support including shelter, meals and counseling for individuals and their children suffering from domestic violence at a time when shelters are full and incidents are on the rise. #startsmall #CLF

A post shared by Clara Lionel Foundation (@claralionelfdn) on Apr 9, 2020 at 2:30pm PDT

Continue Reading

Top Stories