L.A. Riots: An Interview 20 Years Later

My good friend Javier Lucero (@mrlucero82) was a nine year old child during the L.A. Riots twenty years ago. I interviewed him about his experiences as a child and what that means for him as a teacher dedicated to social justice. The interview takes place in a car, so there's sort-of a third character of the city in the background.


John Spencer

John Spencer is a teacher, author, speaker, and incessant doodler. He is the co-author of Wendell the World's Worst Wizard and the co-founder of Write About. He is passionate about helping students develop into better writers and deeper thinkers.

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  1. Please ignore the L.A. Dodgers logo in the background. Javi doesn't know better.

  2. Enjoyed hearing this. Especially the complexity part. I spent 2 months living in Inglewood and working with Dr. E.V. Hill's church in South Central LA the summer of the riots. One of my first impressions of South Central was amazement of how most of the people were Hispanic as I had assumed it would be an African-American community.

    I remember riding to the church with an African-American leader of the church in his fifties. He would describe the riots to us. That store did not get looted because it let the elderly whinos hang out there. This store got bought out by Koreans who raised the prices on everything and were hated so they got burned down.

    I learned that much of the riots were planned and were revenge based on racial tensions between ethnic groups. I don't remember that side of the story ever being told on TV. Before that I had no idea of the racism between blacks and Koreans, I only thought of racism as a black/white issue.

    Definitely an experience that has shaped my life. Thanks for the reminder about it.

    1. I had no idea, Mike. Thanks for giving your perspective. Somehow I missed that part of your story.


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