4.29 Sa-i-gu Commemoration Events Calendar
KoreAm
Author: KoreAm
Posted: March 13th, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG , Riot Spot
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The 20th anniversary of 4.29 (Sa-i-gu) is coming up, and many organizations are planning their commemorations. We’ve put the announced events onto a calendar to help keep track of what’s going on.

Don’t forget to bookmark the page below, as events will be added or updated as we get the information. If you have a 4/29 related event you’d like put on our calendar, please email Katherine Kim at katherine@iamkoream.com. Last-minute changes are possible so please check with event organizers before attending.

LINK: L.A. Riots Anniversary Events Calendar

 

Local Artist To Create LA Riots Memorial
Author: Jessica Yoon
Posted: January 12th, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG , Riot Spot
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by Jessica Yoon

Local artist Maggie Hazen has undertaken a project to create an art memorial in honor of the 20th anniversary of the LA Riots.

The memorial, commissioned by Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD) and the SAIGU campaign, will be a modular installation consisting of approximately 6,000 miniature and individually crafted plaster vessels filled with basic food ingredients, which will represent the occupation and unification of the Los Angeles community.

“I just want to bring something beautiful to something that’s been destroyed,” Hazen told iamKoreAm.com in a phone interview. “I think it will speak to the community in terms of the picture of harmony and unity. That’s what I really want people to look out for.”

The 22-year-old recent graduate of Biola University said the program’s manager, Bonnie Kim, was familiar with her previous work and approached her to do the memorial. Hazen said she realized her work was all about mapping geographical regions of human conflict.

“The motivation is kind of what is the essence of a human being and what is our shared point of common interest?” Hazen said. “I realized that it was food, and so I’m using flour, rice, and cornmeal as three main food staples that kind of represent a wide brush stroke of ethnic diversity and something that we share in common.”

The memorial will also invite the direct involvement of the community by having a select group of 25 to 30 representatives who were directly affected by the riots to take part in creating the installation. The entire process will also be filmed and made into a short documentary featuring the stories of the representatives and the building process of the project.

The memorial placement will be part of a three-day event leading up to the Art Show opening on April 28, 2012 and the L.A. Riots commemorative service on April 29, 2012.

“I’m really just looking forward to seeing the community’s reaction and how they see the piece and I really want to hear what people are saying,” said Hazen. “I’m looking forward to different cultures to shake hands and come to some conclusions and some peace.”

Visit Hazen’s KickStarter page if you are interested in donating to this important project. For more info on the artist, go to maggiehazen.com.

Share Your Story!
KoreAm
Author: KoreAm
Posted: November 11th, 2011
Filed Under: BLOG , Riot Spot
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What’s your story? Where were you on April 29, 1992, the day the Los Angeles riots erupted? Did the events 20 years ago change your life, change your community? What do you want history to remember about what our ethnic community refers to as Saigu (literally 4-2-9)?

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the riots, a group of multiethnic leaders in Los Angeles is partnering with a local radio station and the nation’s largest oral history project to provide a platform for documenting firsthand accounts of those affected by Saigu. The 4.29 Saigu Committee, KCRW-Santa Monica and StoryCorps are inviting individuals to register for interviews and share their experiences to assure the diverse voices of Los Angeles are heard and recorded for posterity. Interviews will take place Dec. 12-18 between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.  They will take an average of 40 minutes.  All languages are welcome. The deadline to register is Nov. 16. Continue Reading »

Speak Now: An Outsider Views The L.A. Riots From The Inside
KoreAm
Author: KoreAm
Posted: August 5th, 2011
Filed Under: April 2007 , Back Issues , BLOG , Riot Spot
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Over the years, KoreAm has documented the impact of the 1992 Los Angeles riots on ours and other communities, and urged an understanding of lessons learned. As we count down to the 20th anniversary next year, iamKoreAm.com will be running a riot article, image or testimonial in this space every week until April 29, 2012. Some will be taken from our pages, while others will be excavated from our own personal archives.

We welcome your submissions—first-person memories (no word limit), pictures, poems and (photographed/scanned) artifacts—for this project, too. Please email them to julie@iamkoream.com with the subject line ‘Riots Spot’. Many of us were mere children in 1992, but 19 years later, we have voices. We can speak now.

This article appeared in the April 2007 issue of KoreAm.

Revisiting The Scene Of The Crime

This former reporter who covered the 1992 riots and the events leading up to it reveals a truth much more nuanced than the “black-Korean conflict” headlines of that time.

by Richard Fruto

I was a reporter at the English-language Korea Times Weekly in Los Angeles from late 1990 to early 1993, and I covered the 1992 riots and the aftermath. I also reported on the events that led to the riots, starting with the shooting of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins by Soon Ja Du in March 1991.

As a reporter at the Korea Times, I had what my former editor, K.W. Lee, would call a worm’s-eye view of those events, and as the only non-Korean on the staff (I am Filipino American), I also had an outsider’s view from the inside. What I witnessed was a story that was not as straightforward as the perception that most people have of those events based on what they read and heard from the major media outlets.

Much has been written about these events in the media and academic circles. Yet most of these accounts, retrospectives and commentaries tend to paint the matter in broad terms. For example, most accepted the notion about tensions between Korean immigrant shopkeepers and African-American customers, who accused the former of rudeness, clannishness and exploitation, and described them as newcomers and outsiders who went in and did business without giving back to or hiring from within the community.

These stories of conflict between Korean immigrant merchants and their customers generally ignored the details. The absence of these details unfairly stereotyped each and every Korean immigrant who brought enterprise to the poorest neighborhoods in their own quest for the American Dream.

In my opinion, mainstream TV reporters caused the most damage. Continue Reading »

L.A. Riots: Goodbye Los Angeles, Hello Orange County
KoreAm
Author: KoreAm
Posted: July 29th, 2011
Filed Under: BLOG , Riot Spot
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Over the years, KoreAm has documented the impact of the 1992 Los Angeles riots on ours and other communities, and urged an understanding of lessons learned. As we count down to the 20th anniversary next year, iamKoreAm.com will be running a riot article, image or testimonial in this space every week until April 29, 2012. Some will be taken from our pages, while others will be excavated from our own personal archives.

We welcome your submissions—first-person memories (no word limit), pictures, poems and (photographed/scanned) artifacts—for this project, too. Please email them to julie@iamkoream.com with the subject line ‘Riots Spot’. Many of us were mere children in 1992, but 19 years later, we have voices. We can speak now.

This article appeared in the April 2007 issue of KoreAm.

A Fresh Start

How the L.A. riots gave a former L.A. shopkeeper new wind in Orange County

by Ellyn Pak

Photograph by Eric Sueyoshi

By the end of the four days of violent rioting in South Los Angeles, one of Ellis Yunseong Cha’s friends had been shot in the head while trying to protect his check cashing business. A neighboring business owner’s hamburger stand was burned to the ground. Another friend’s store was also torched and destroyed.

“I never felt danger in my life,” said Cha, who owned a mattress factory and furniture store in the area since 1985. “But that was probably the first time, man, that I felt powerless.” The rioting and looting broke out April 29, 1992 — an infamous day dubbed “Sa-i-gu” by Koreans — after four Los Angeles Police Department officers were acquitted for the brutal beating of African American Rodney King. The day after, a nervous Cha returned to his factory on South Avalon Boulevard.

An angry mob was still there.

At one point, Cha went to the back of the building and peeked out to check out the commotion. More than 20 people were on top of their cars, yelling and shouting with their fists Continue Reading »

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