Making Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a holiday is the single most important national achievement of black leaders in the past decade, according to a survey of black leaders in seven American cities, including Los Angeles.
The holiday was ranked above gains in legislative, executive and judicial positions, as well as in the movement against apartheid in South Africa.
Nearly 30% of about 420 black politicians, business and civic group leaders in Los Angeles gave the King holiday top marks. This was a slightly higher percentage than for the national sample of more than 2,300 black leaders surveyed by New World Decisions Inc. of New Jersey for the Miller Brewing Co.
Respondents in Los Angeles as well as in the other cities cited rapid gains in the number of black local elected officials as the top local-level achievement of black leaders over the past decade.