A rally and march were part of the community commemoration of the 1992 uprising. (Courtesy Photo)

Mixed Emotions were felt on the corner of Florence and Normandie on April 29

A festival planned by a coalition of South Los Angeles (SLA) community organizations to commemorate the 92 Uprising started with excited community anticipation. The effort was a mass mobilization that included a rally, march, and community festival, beginning at the historic intersection of Florence and Normandie where the 1992 Uprising ignited. The event was part of a larger alliance between more than 35 South Los Angeles organizations implementing community-led solutions to systemic injustices and ensuring that the community’s vision for the future of South Los Angeles is realized.

Sounds good, but something was missing. Many black Los Angeles activist that were there back in 1992 showed up to remember. Not because they knew about the rally and festival but because that was the place it all began. Molly Bell, Big Money Griff, Linda J some of KJLH’s Front Page favorite callers were there. Pastor Lewis Logan recited the opening prayer before the March from Florence and Normandie to 81st and Vermont, the location of the Community Coalition and the exhibit Re-Imaging Justice a living art and education exhibit.

The exhibit featured renowned and South Los Angeles artist exploring the root causes of and progress made since the LA Uprising. The exhibit was unique, engaging and informative. It captured the heart of the ’92 Uprising. If only the festival outside had that same flavor.

Skipp Townsend founder of 2nd Call a gang intervention and prevention organization that provides life skills and job re-entry opportunities said “I had to be here”. He was there representing with the Cease Fire Committee a group of predominantly black gang intervention and prevention organizations that meet every Wednesday at Bethel A.M.E. The group was birthed out of the killing of Devin Brown by a police officer in 2005. They were not a part of the planning committee.

As he shared his thoughts of the day we asked him about Bo Taylor, a pillar of the community who was on the front line during the ’92 uprising. We asked what would Bo say about the day, “Bo was real he did not bite his tongue. I believe Bo would talk about the black experience. He would talk about the black culture and not to say anything about my Latino brothers but this is really about what was happening to us. It transcended to the Latino community as well but at that point we didn’t continue our communication.

After the ’92 uprising Blacks and Latinos separated and we no longer have the bond we had prior to this. We got to start dealing with all communities. I know Bo would address that because in jail Latinos and blacks are still separated.”  Bo passed away of cancer several years back.

Many blacks felt left out as they marched to 81st and Vermont and was greeted with Mariachi bands. A hurt Linda J and known community activist said, “I felt like it was Cinco De Mayo not the Anniversary of ’92.

I was expecting the day to represent the black experience and that did not happen.” Linda J also organized a caravan and prayer vigil to go back to the place Latasha Harlins was murdered on 92nd and Figueroa.