The L.A. Riots

Be Woke Presents Black History in Two Minutes (or so)

Despite footage of police officers beating the late Rodney King in 1991, justice, for many in South Central Los Angeles, was not served. The acquittal of four white Los Angeles Police Department officers would be the catalyst of the the Los Angeles Riots of 1992.

With decades of racial tension between African-Americans and the LAPD, the Rodney King trial amplified black people’s sentiments. On April 29, 1992, protestors rallied at the local LAPD precinct. Over the next two days, looting, fires, and utter destruction would strike South Central Los Angeles in response to the continued poor treatment of African-Americans in the community. At its core, the L.A. Riots were a social comment on the continued fight against racism, inequality, and criminal justice.

Hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., and with additional commentary from Vincent Brown and Ava DuVernay, we look at how one Los Angeles community’s attempts to bring about social change led to devastation unlike any other.

Archival Materials Courtesy of:

  • Alamy Images
  • Associated Press
  • Getty Images
  • Shutterstock

Additional Archival by:

  • CBS Los Angeles
  • KCOP-TV

Executive Producers:

  • Robert F. Smith
  • Henry Louis Gates Jr.
  • Dyllan McGee
  • Deon Taylor

Music By:

  • Oovra Music

Be Woke presents is brought to you by Robert F. Smith and Deon Taylor.

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