Lora King, the daughter of Rodney King, said Monday she would launch a new scholarship to help black fathers spend more time with their families, an effort announced on the 27th anniversary of the L.A. Riots.
King’s name became known throughout the nation after he was beaten by four white police officers in 1991. A bystander captured a short video of the event in which King was clubbed 56 times, and the footage and eventual acquittal of the officers at trial a year later led to six days of rioting across L.A.
April 29 has become a civil rights touchstone for many of the city’s residents since, but there has been no codified effort to mark his legacy. King died in 2012.
Lora King, now 35, said the scholarship, which will be called the “I am a King” program, would provide grants to black fathers to fund events with their children. She told The Los Angeles Times her father used some of the $3.8 million he received from a settlement with the city after the beating to expose her to the wider world, and she hoped the scholarship program would help other fathers spend time with their kids.
King also noted that she hoped the effort would remind the city of her father’s legacy.
“Who knows if they will ever acknowledge him in the way that they should,” King told the Times. “He really didn’t care for that. He just cared about making a difference in people’s lives and creating change.”
She continued: “As long as I continue to follow my vision, he will always be represented.”
The Times said funds will be issued on a rolling basis and could be issued as early as Father’s Day. They could cover anything from a family dinner to a visit to Disneyland, and an unnamed donor has given $10,000 to help start the effort.
“If you are an African American father living in the United States, we’d love to hear your story and consider you to be a recipient of this groundbreaking scholarship program,” a webpage announcing the grant reads.
King has taken other strides to preserve her father’s memory. Three years ago she launched the Rodney King Foundation for Social Justice and Human Rights in an effort to push forward civil rights causes.