|Officers stand guard as fire units battle a blaze near 19th Street and Adams Boulevard on|
April 30, 1992. (Los Angeles Times)
Her essay, "The riots are an L.A. story, but one that tells the future for the rest of the country," offers her view from, yes, the little college in the orange groves. She was honored that an Times editor asked her to write something for the occasion.
In late April when the jacarandas bloom, I recall the 1992 riots. Back then, I saw the purple flowering trees as if for the first time, their blooms bright against L.A.’s ashy streets.
I spent the evening that April 29 downtown, across from Parker Center with first hundreds, then thousands who gathered, outraged at the acquittal of four LAPD officers charged in the beating of Rodney King.
Two weeks later, I interviewed for a teaching position at a little community college in the orange groves of Irvine. Driving down the 405, I couldn’t help but consider the white flight that had followed that route after the 1965 Watts riots. I am neither especially white nor especially flighty. But there that history was, like worrying smoke in the rearview mirror.
I got the job. I made the move.To read the rest, click here.