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LA Riots 20th Anniversary: Rodney, Reginald, The Riots & Rebuilding (VIDEO)

 

The Huffington Post  |  By  Posted: 04/29/2012 11:38 am Updated: 04/29/2012 12:47 pm

 

This past week, news outlets from across Los Angeles County have commemorated the 20th anniversary milestone with scores of pieces that range from a celebration of how far the city has come since the riots to questions about the economic woes still plaguing South LA.

 

At HuffPost Los Angeles, we published a round up of the most shocking videos from the LA Riots, as well as a story about how community recording has empowered victims and changed policing for the better.

 

We also took a look at how the LA riots have impacted Los Angeles culture. We compiled 10 references to the riots in pop culture and took a look at VH1's upcoming rock doc, "Uprising: Hip Hop & the LA Riots," about the connection between rap music and rage among South Central residents.

 

On the blogs, KoreAm writer Alex Ko celebrated the resurrection of Koreatown but confessed that he still can't bear to return to parts of town where his parents' businesses once stood. Marqueece Harris-Dawson, president of Community Coalition in South LA, called attention to the fact that the median income for black and latino families in the area has decreased since 1990. Author Earl Ofari Hutchinson wrote about the tremendous strides that the Los Angeles Police Department has taken since the riots, and journalist Leslie Griffith blamed the overhead newscopters, in part, for fanning the flames of rioters and giving them an audience for which to perform.

 

On that note, stay tuned Monday for our interview with Bob Tur and Marika Gerrard, the then-husband and wife team who captured unforgettable footage of the riots, including the beating of white truck driver Reginald Denny, from their helicopter.

For now, here's a round up of some of the coverage that caught our eye as we looked back on the LA riots this week.

 

RETURNING TO RODNEY KING:

  • Rodney King is happy. This interview with the Associated Press details the ups and downs his life has taken since the beating and verdict. From reality TV star to record company executive to boxing match promoter, King says, "This part of my life is the easy part now."

 

 

 

 

REGINALD DENNY, RECLUSE: In the years since his 1992 beating at the hands of four South Central residents on Florence and Normandie avenues, Denny has withdrawn from the spotlight to live a quiet life in Arizona. He refuses all media interviews, but that hasn't stopped others from reflecting on his assault.

 

 

 

  • In the VH1 rock doc, "Uprising: Hip Hop & the LA Riots," Watson is more frank. "There's no way that 400 years of the white folks' bullshit is going to be justified by this one ass whooping," he says in the film. Read more about it onThe Huffington Post.

 

COVERING THE RIOTS:

Call transcripts and audio recordings reveal the pivotal role radio station KJLH played as a community connector throughout the riots. The station, which usually played R&B and soul, halted all music programming and commercials in order to take calls from residents caught up in the riots, and they eventually won a Peabody award for their coverage. Read about it on The Huffington Post.

  • Photojournalists Francine Orr and Hyungwon Kang recall what it was like to cover the riots as young, sometimes unpaid people new in their field. Inexperienced at the time, Orr remembers allowing a woman to finish crying before taking her photograph. Kang emphasizes maintaining "reverence" for the people in the community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • After 19 years, former South LA resident Tim Goldman breaks his silenceabout the footage he was able to film at Florence and Normandie during the riots. Now a Florida resident, Goldman muses, "The Trayvon Martin case is the next Rodney King case, but this time we have a death."

 

 

  • Going beyond "victims or vigilantes," KoreAm collects oral histories from dozens of Korean-American Angelenos about the days leading up to, and during, the riots.

 

HOW HAS LA EVOLVED SINCE THE RIOTS?

 

  • LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold makes the case that the LA riots inspired a culinary upheaval. "After the riots, L.A.'s insularity somehow fostered restaurants with a strength of purpose, even stronger and more specific than they had previously been," says the Pulitzer Prize winning critic.

 

 

  • South LA's schools are the lowest-ranked in the school district, the unemployment rate is at 20 percent and lots of the money that was promised to the community after the riots never materialized, reports CBS. The "empty lots have remained as scars 20 years later."

 

 

  • LAPD reform after the LA riots: In a live chat for the LA Times, civil rights attorney Connie Rice says, "When I look at Oakland, we’re light years ahead."

 

 

 

 

 

 

RELATED ON HUFFPOST: GET TO KNOW THE MAJOR PLAYERS IN THE EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE LOS ANGELES RIOTS OF 1992 AND SEE WHERE THEY ARE NOW.

 
RODNEY KING
 
 
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King's videotaped beating on the night of March 3, 1991, triggered the riot a year later when the officers who beat him were acquitted of all charges. During the ensuing violence, he went on national TV to plead with people, "Can we all get along?" 

In the years since he has been arrested numerous times, mainly for alcohol-related crimes, and has made several attempts at rehabilitation, including an appearance on television's "Celebrity Rehab." 

He received a $3.8 million settlement from the city but recently told The Associated Press much of that money was lost to bad investments. He's currently on a tour promoting his just-published memoir, "The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion to Redemption."

Caption by Associated Press. On April 13, 2012, Rodney King poses for a portrait in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

Original Post

Well Rodney, for one thing he's lucky to be alive. Secondly, it wasn't his fault in the first place for the riots. The blame squarely lies on the system of L.A. justice which the black people of L.A. and other cities in the U.S. were just tired of. Today we know that the majority of black people are leaving or have left L.A. due to continued violence not just by police, but now by South Americans who are coming to the city.

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