LA Riots

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LA Riots

The LA RIOTSThe Impact on Koreatown, L.A.

Click the player to listen to a podcast published by NPR discussing the 1992 LA Riots in Koreatown and its affects on the Korean community.

The events of the 1992 Riots caused a shift in identity for many Asian-Americans in Koreatown. Their diaspora experience shifted from living as Koreans in an American city, to embracing the identity of being Korean-Americans. While the process of rebuilding Koreatown took several years, today the town is completely restored. The Riots of 1992 left several scars, but Los Angeles continues to be one of the most diverse and multicultural cities in the world.

Koreatown Today

Koreatown is a densely populated area consisting of several ethnicities, not just Korean. Hispanic, African American, and Korean culture is prevalent within Koreatown. However, the town serves as a multicultural anchor of identity for Koreans. The town developed characteristics of a Korean enclave by embodying several elements of Korean culture and lifestyle. Therefore, when violence, looting, and arsony erupted in Koreatown, the destruction of Korean businesses was perceived as a personal attack on Korean identity. The attacks lead to mass protests of Korean-Americans fighting for the rights and protection of all minority groups, including Asian American.

Korean-Americans during the Riots

The 1992 Riots of LA began in reaction to the acquittal of four police officers charged with the beating of Rodney King. In response to this event, LA erupted into one of the most destructive episodes of civil unrest in American history. At the center of this unrest was the ethnic enclave Koreatown. Koreatown is located in Los Angeles just to the north of South Central. The 1992 riots were originally centered at the intersection of Florence Ave and Normandie Ave, but looting, arson, and violence quickly spread to other parts of the city, especially Koreatown. The violence lead to an outcry of help from residents of Koreatown, but the National Guard and LAPD left Koreatown unarmed and unprotected from the rioters. Instead, their main focus was protecting areas such as Downtown LA and Hancock Park. Therefore, the rioters were funneled into areas such as Koreatown, causing the area to become the epicenter for violence and destruction.

Koreatown during the LA Riots

NPR: All Things Considered20 Years Later

LA Riots lead to vandelism, looting, and violence

Koreatownand the 1992 Riots

Six Days of Turmoil

Today, Koreatown is a thriving neighborhood that represents a wide diversity of culturesWatch the video to learn more about the tourism opportunities that Koreatown has to offer (The New York Times)

Protests for peace lead by Asian Americans were prevalent after the LA Riots of 1992




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