30 years after the devastating uprisings of Los Angeles, black American and Korean leaders are planning a demonstration of unity

Black and Korean American leaders on Tuesday announced plans to hold a joint event on April 29 – the anniversary of the acquittal of four officers accused of beating Rodney King. This verdict provoked almost a week of unrest and violence.

The event, to be held at Liberty Park, will be a time to reminisce about one of Los Angeles’ most disturbing anniversaries:

  • More than 50 people were killed, more than 1,000 were injured
  • Billions of dollars in property damage
  • Korean-owned businesses disproportionately absorbed the burden of damage

“Let me just say we are stronger together,” Michael Lawson, president and CEO of the Urban League, said at an event at the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles.

Police in riot gear stormed a rally on South Vermont Avenue in Koortown on April 29, 1992.

(Mae Ryan / KPCC, with archive photo by Gary Leonard)

Lawson said it was also important to recognize the racial tension that led to the uprising. He brought up Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old black girl who was shot to death by a Korean store owner who suspected her of shoplifting.

“We can not ignore looking at the tragedies that are happening,” he said. “Because we do not remember them, we must repeat them.”

Anger erupted when the store owner, Soon Ja Du, was sentenced to probation.

At Tuesday’s event, Connie Chong Joo of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA said the sentence reflects a flawed criminal justice system.

“What happened is that it became a system of Koreans versus blacks created by this system that said: We are not going to treat this black girl’s life as important,” Joe said.

Joe said the media ignited the flames of racial conflict at the time by framing stories in a way that put the two communities facing each other. She said she sees history recurring today in coverage of anti-Asian attacks.

“How many times have I heard from the public or some of the descriptions we have seen that black hate crimes are taking place on Asia,” Joe said.

Orlando Martinez, the Los Angeles Police Department’s hate crime coordinator, said anti-Asian attacks were carried out by a combination of Latin, black and white suspects.

The unity event is scheduled to take place from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm on April 29 at Liberty Park, 3700 Wilshire Blvd.

A black woman in her 30s is surrounded on the left by a middle-aged black man and an Asian man in his 20s or 30s on the left.

Alexandra Reed, Alexandra Reed, Alexandra Reed, will be a partner at the April 29 commemorative event. Beside her is Pastor “Jay” Edgar Boy from the First Methodist African Episcopal Church of Los Angeles (L) and Justin Park, singer-songwriter. Who will appear at the event.

One of the joint ventures will be Alexandra Reid, a former member of the South Korean girls’ group BP Rania. Reid, known as the first black idol on K-Pop, expressed her affinity for the Korean community at a Tuesday event.

“This event is very important to me because I feel it’s just an opportunity to support each other, to elevate each other, and ultimately to fight each other,” Reid said.

The April 29 event will feature performances by black and Korean American artists, including Dok2, Tayla Parx, Junoflo, G2, Ted Park, RÜDE CÅT, Justin Park and Know-Madik.

The event is co-sponsored by Advanced Asian American Justice, the Los Angeles Urban League, the American Federation of Los Angeles, the First African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Koreatown Youth and Community Center and the American Coalition.

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Josie Huang reports on the intersection of being Asian and American and the impact of those growing communities in Southern California.

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