UPDATED: Looking Back at the L.A. Riots: A Roundup of Commemorative Events


Twenty years ago, the acquittal of the LAPD officers charged in the Rodney King beating inflamed a community bitter over the 1991 shooting death of an African American teenager, Latasha Harlins, by a Korean store owner. Events held around town will commemorate this dark time in our city’s history and look at how Los Angeles has evolved since then.

Urban Issues Lecture Series
The 2012 installment of LMU’s annual series is titled “20 Years After the Riots: Where Is L.A. Now?” The two final lecturers are city council president Eric Garcetti and (tentatively) Mayor Villaraigosa.
Event date: April 3 and 10
Event time: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Event location: Ahmanson Auditorium, LMU
More information.

Photographer’s Eye
During the riots, photojournalist Ted Soqui snapped flaming cars, brutal street fights, and burning strip malls. Soqui will reflect on his work in a conversation with Glynn Martin, executive director of the L.A. Police Historical Society.
Event date: April 18
Event time: 12:15 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Event location: Meeting Room A, L.A. Central Library
More information.

Riot, Rebellion, or Civil Unrest?
USC’s school of communications considers how media coverage shaped the meaning of the riots. L.A. Times photo editor Kirk McKoy and Pasadena Weekly writer Keven Uhrich join other journalism notables for an open conversation.
Event date: April 19
Event time: 6 p.m.
Event location: Annenberg School, USC
More information.

Rodney King in Conversation with Patt Morrison
The most iconic figure of the 1992 Los Angeles riots sits down with journalist Patt Morrison at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
Event date: April 21
Event time: 10:30 a.m.
Event location: Ronald Tutor Campus Center, USC
More information.

Los Angeles 20 Years After the Rodney King Verdict
Day two of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books features a discussion between former district attorney Gil Garcetti, L.A. Times editor-at-large Jim Newton, and local activist Connie Rice. 
Event date: April 22
Event time: 11 a.m.
Event location: Bovard Auditorium, USC
More information.

Broken Spirits Launch Party
Author Ontresicia Averette presents her book Broken Spirits: A Letter to My Cousin Rodney G. King. The memoir juxtaposes King’s struggle against L.A. police with Averette’s views on discrimination at NASA, her former employer.
Event date: April 28
Event time: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Event location: Zen Lounge
More information.

Diversity is Our Strength
L.A.’s Korean American Coalition will offer multicultural snacks and announce winners of its essay contest, themed “Diversity is Our Strength.”
Event date: April 29
Event time: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Event location: TBD
More information.

SAIGU Memorial Service
For the past three months, the SAIGU (serve, advocate, inspire, give, unite) Campaign has brought cultural and faith-based groups together to work on community service projects. The campaign’s commencement ceremony will survey their projects and feature a speech by Mayor Villaraigosa.
Event date: April 29
Event time: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Event location: Glory Church of Jesus Christ
More information.

South L.A. Rises
The Community Coalition organized this fair and rally hosted by Power 106’s Wendy Carrillo and featuring speakers, music, entertainment, and representatives from an assortment of community resources to mark the anniversary of the riots and to put a spotlight on jobs, health care, and education in South L.A. 
Event date: April 29
Event time: 1 – 4 p.m.
More information

This story was originally posted on March 23. Photograph by Ted Soqui


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