Asian, Black leaders to hold unity event on 30th anniversary of Los Angeles uprising

  • Asian and Black civil rights leaders have organized an event to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Los Angeles uprising on April 29.
  • The 1992 uprising, otherwise known as the Los Angeles riots, came in response to the acquittal of four police officers accused of using excessive force against Rodney King.
  • The unrest saw the escalation of racial tensions between the local Korean and Black communities, which had been at odds for years over racism and economic inequality.
  • The event will take place in Liberty Park and feature spiritual speakers and creative performances for an afternoon of “healing and reflection.”
  • Attendance is free but guests must register via Eventbrite.

Los Angeles’ Asian and Black communities will gather later this month in an event to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1992 uprisings.

Organized by Asian and Black community leaders, the event, titled “LA Uprising | Saigu Peace Gathering,” will take place in Liberty Park on April 29 and feature spiritual speakers and creative performances for an afternoon of “healing and reflection.”

The uprising, otherwise and infamously known as the Los Angeles riots, was a series of civil disturbances that came after the acquittal of four police officers charged with using excessive force in the arrest of Rodney King.

The unrest, which began on April 29, 1992, fueled racial tensions between Korean and Black community members, who had already been at odds over issues such as racism and economic inequality for years.

After six days, the uprising left 63 people dead, more than 2,000 injured and over 12,000 arrested. Damages to the city were estimated at more than $1 billion.

The unrest has since been known as “saigu” to the Korean American community. “Saigu” translates to April 29.

“This gathering will bring together our diverse communities of LA for healing, remembrance, and a commitment to building a more racially equitable society. We will remember the past, be present together, and hold hope for the future,” said the organizers of the upcoming event, including Connie Chung Joe of Advancing Justice – LA, Michael Lawson of the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL), James An of the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles (KAFLA), Rev. J. Edgar Boyd of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME), Steve Kang of the Koreatown Youth & Community Center (KYCC), and Eunice Song of the Korean American Coalition (KAC).

The event will feature musical performances from artists such as Dok2, Tayla Park and Justin Park, to name a few. The First AME Church, the oldest church founded by African Americans in Los Angeles, will provide spiritual invocation.

“This event is really important to me,” Alexandra Reid, the first Black idol to enter the K-Pop industry — and one of the event’s co-emcees — said. “I feel that it’s just one chance to support each other, uplift each other, and ultimately bring each other together.”

The program will run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Attendance is free but guests must register via Eventbrite.

 

Featured Image via Ricky Bonilla (CC BY-SA 2.0) (left), Mick Taylor (CC BY-SA 2.0) (right)

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