Reparations Archives

Blog—The 25th Anniversary of the LA 92 Riots Revisited: (April 29, 1992)

Where Were You?


Dr. Maxine Thompson


http://www.maxinethompson.com
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com

We have moments in our lives that we never forget. For me, I will never forget being caught up in a wall of fire, on the second day of the 1992 Los Angeles riot.


It was sometime in the afternoon on April 30, 1992, and I was on the west side of town, trying to get home, when I could hardly find a street without flames engulfing it. Unlike the Watts riot of 1965, this time the rebellion had morphed beyond South Central. I was somewhere around Olympic Blvd. I remember driving around and around before I found a street that was not on fire. I did fear for my life that day.


In hindsight, I should have called in to work that morning and taken the day off. After all, on that previous evening, I had just dodged a bullet. On April 29, 1992, as I’d driven home, heading South up Normandie Blvd., I passed the flash point of the riot, Florence and Normandie. However, the burning and looting had not started yet. I may have heard the verdict of the Rodney King trial on the radio, and was angry, but, after a day of dealing with abused and neglected children who looked like me (Black), I was too tired to really think about what that meant.


I do recall noticing an eerie silence, though, as if it were the calm before the storm. I watched numerous black and white LAPD police cars pulling out of the area, as they zoomed past my car, heading in the opposite direction north on Normandie. I now wonder if it was by design. Leave the city unprotected to burn.


By the time, I made it home in Inglewood, the news on TV began reporting the start of the riot. Pandemonium reigned. White citizens were being attacked in their cars. All races were looting. Graffiti on walls were part of the hue and cry. Signs were being held up in an outcry over the injustice of the verdicts for murdered 15-year-old Latasha Harlin and the beaten victim, Rodney King. I smelled smoke and saw flames surrounding my neighborhood all night long. Billows of black clouds rose to the sky. Overhead, I heard helicopters clattering, and later, police sirens screaming throughout the night.


As an older woman now, I’m trying to analyze what I was thinking that made me go out in the field as a Children’s services worker for Los Angeles County, the next day, in the middle of an uprising. I think because I grew up in Detroit, I was fearless at that age. I did not believe things were that bad. I was never afraid of my people and I felt I would be safe. But, on the down side, there was something more insidious going on. Because no one ever protected me as a Black woman, there were no authority figures in sight to say don’t risk going out. I later found out the administration sent out a memo for the white female and male social workers not to go out into the field and to stay off work. (This is just one of many injustices we endured on the plantation.)


But, looking back, I’m glad I went out that day. I am now able to bear witness to what has happened to my people, as the descendants of slaves. I was there.


Although this is National Small Business Week, many of those small Black businesses that burnt up during the ‘92 riots never came back. My neighbor, who had a small mom and pops pharmacy, lost their family business. Ironically, the government gave money to the surrounding Korean storeowners to rebuild.


As African Americans, we own a little more than one per cent of the gross national product in America, although our ancestors helped build this country with free labor. (This has not changed much since the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States, was passed on December 6th, 1865.) We have outliers like celebrities and athletes, but the data says the average middle-classed family is worth $1700 after the family car and the couch. After the 2008 recession, we, as African Americans, lost most of our wealth through losing our home ownership.


The banks were bailed out by former President Obama, yet they won’t give loans to Black people for businesses or homes. The Small Business Administration (SBA) was given billions of dollars from the Obama administration, yet Blacks only received a little over 2% of those government-backed business loans. (Who says the recession is over for Blacks?) The unemployment rate for Black males in some cities is as high as 50%. Police are still killing unarmed Black men, boys, and women, at an alarming rate.


Unfortunately, this is the perfect storm for another uprising. But, instead of “the fire next time,” we must start back building our communities ourselves. We want our reparations and we are demanding them now, but in the meantime, we will have to build on a grass roots level, as we did after slavery. Through the church. Through the block clubs. Through the sororities. Through the fraternities. Through the Black Chambers of Commerce. Through the Black Business Expos, such as the one we had this weekend, on 4-29-17, Black Writers on Tour, Founded by Dr. Rosie Milligan. Through any networks of Black people who can pool together our resources, by any means necessary. We can also demand some of these government contracts, in many different arenas, but in one particular area, there is money slotted for the homeless, (which is becoming a big problem in our communities). Yet, somehow, the money never gets beyond the politicians’ pockets.


So let’s Sankofa. Sankofa literally means to go back and get what was taken. That’s why we must look back to be able to move forward. Let’s not just be a consumer block, whom everyone advertises to for us to spend our money, but let’s fight back with true economic power this time. Keep our money in our community!

About the author: Dr. Maxine Thompson, a former social worker of 23 years, is a novelist, poet, columnist, blogger, short story writer, ebook publisher, book reviewer, an editor, ghostwriter, Internet Radio Show Host, and a Literary Agent. She is the author of The Ebony Tree, Hostage of Lies, LA Blues, LA Blues 2, LA Blues3, A Place Called Home (A Short Story Collection), The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell, a contributor to bestselling anthologies Secret Lovers, All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Kindle Bestseller).


She is also an ebook author of The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell I and II, The Hush Hush Secrets of Making Money as a Writer, The Hush Hush Secrets of Creating a Life You Love, Affirmations and Essays for Melanoid People, a contributor to bestselling anthologies Secret Lovers, All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Kindle Bestseller). Proverbs for the People, and Editor/Contributor to anthology, Saturday Morning.

Her novels, The Ebony Tree, (Received a $200 Pen Award in 1997), Hostage of Lies, (Voted a Best Book of 2009), LA Blues, (2011), and LA Blues II, (2012), which were featured in Black Expressions’ Catalogue in August 2012. LA Blues 3 was published in August 2013.

You can contact her at maxtho@aol.com.




Dr. Maxine Thompson Live Internet Radio Shows
This Week’s Guest – Monday, April 10, 2017


Maxine Thompson

Dr. Maxine Thompson,
Publisher, Literary Agent, Author, Host of Internet Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses

Dr. Maxine ThompsonArtist First Internet Radio


Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.


April 10, 2017


9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Guest – Monday, April 10, 2017

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the author or Dr. Maxine Thompson


April 10, 2017


April 10, 2017


Oneita Jackson
Author of

Letters From Mrs. Grundy
Nappy-Headed Negro Syndrome



Listen to Archives: Replay

Sponsored by:


EXECUTIVE SPONSORS:

January 4, 2010

Dr. Maxine Thompson

Author of
Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

If you are interested in becoming a guest and/or a sponsor you may visit:

www.maxinethompson.com
,

www.maxinethompson.com/artistfirst.html for available dates
or via e-mail: maxtho@aol.com

>Home

This press

release may be viewed with links at www.maxinethompson.com/pressrelease.html





Dr. Maxine Thompson Live Internet Radio Shows
This Week’s Guest – Monday, March 27, 2017


Maxine Thompson

Dr. Maxine Thompson,
Publisher, Literary Agent, Author, Host of Internet Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses

Dr. Maxine ThompsonArtist First Internet Radio


Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.


March 27, 2017


9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Guest – Monday, March 27, 2017

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the author or Dr. Maxine Thompson


March 27, 2017


March 27, 2017


Dr. Maxine Thompson
Publisher, Author, Founder of

Maxine Thompson Literary and Educational Services
Author of
Affirmations and Essays for Melanoid People



Listen to Archives: Replay

Sponsored by:


EXECUTIVE SPONSORS:

January 4, 2010

Dr. Maxine Thompson

Author of
Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

If you are interested in becoming a guest and/or a sponsor you may visit:

www.maxinethompson.com
,

www.maxinethompson.com/artistfirst.html for available dates
or via e-mail: maxtho@aol.com

>Home

This press

release may be viewed with links at www.maxinethompson.com/pressrelease.html





Dr. Maxine Thompson Live Internet Radio Shows
This Week’s Guest – Monday, February 13, 2017


Maxine Thompson

Dr. Maxine Thompson,
Publisher, Literary Agent, Author, Host of Internet Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses

Dr. Maxine ThompsonArtist First Internet Radio


Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.


February 27, 2017


9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Guest – Monday, February 27, 2017

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the author or Dr. Maxine Thompson


February 27, 2017


February 27, 2017


Dr. Maxine Thompson
Publisher, Author, Founder of

Maxine Thompson Literary and Educational Services
Author of
Affirmations and Essays for Melanoid People



Listen to Archives: Replay

Sponsored by:


EXECUTIVE SPONSORS:

January 4, 2010

Dr. Maxine Thompson

Author of
Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

If you are interested in becoming a guest and/or a sponsor you may visit:

www.maxinethompson.com
,

www.maxinethompson.com/artistfirst.html for available dates
or via e-mail: maxtho@aol.com

>Home

This press

release may be viewed with links at www.maxinethompson.com/pressrelease.html

The Power of Voice: An Artist in the Midst of War

By Dr. Maxine Thompson

“Those who commit the murders, write the reports.” Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells was an activist and a journalist. According to Wikipedia: She was born into slavery in 1862, but as an adult, she documented lynching in the United States in the 1890s, showing that it was often used as a way to control or punish blacks who competed with whites, rather than being based on criminal acts by blacks, as was usually claimed by whites. Needless to say, she had a voice at a time when it was dangerous for a black person, a woman at that, to have a voice.

In that vein, I never realized how important my voice was until I lost mine after a thyroid surgery in 2008…. We’re not talking laryngitis, either. Have you ever tried to ask for directions when you sound like a fog horn, and the mailman can’t understand you? Or, have you tried to order a fast-food take-out over the drive-through window speaker when your voice won’t go up enough decibels for the person on the other end to hear you? Or, better yet, have you ever hosted an Internet radio show where you sound horrible, and you know it, but you have to move on because this is part of your calling? Talk about frustrating, and that was only my literal voice. How about my voice in the world?

Well, it started me to thinking about how so many African American authors, who weren’t given a chance to get published back through the years, even up through the 80s, and early 90s, (I was one of them), have now been given a voice. Many have self-published to get their words, their voice, so to speak, out to the world. I know I did. Eventually, I sold 6 books to other publishers, but now I’m relaunching my books under my own company.

Anyhow, some African Americans have been published through traditional, mainstream publishers, but the point is, we now have a voice. The Internet and social media have opened a lot of doors, too. Over the past 8 years, with President Barack Obama as our first African American Chief of Staff, we saw how important the voice of the people can be when we united.

Now we are living in an even more treacherous time, much of which is being documented through technology and social media. But as writers, we need to document. The power of the pen still reigns.

Whether the media forgets, we should never forget. Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Alva Braziel, Delrawn Smalls Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and on the anniversary of Sandra Bland’s death, everything is the same. Let’s not forget Trayvon Martin, either. Do you recall any convictions for these murder victims? Do you expect to see any convictions for the more recent murder victims, Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, which were captured on video and live streamed for the world to see? Or more recently, Charles Kinsey, a behavior therapist, who was shot by police Monday, 7-18-16, with his hands held up in the air. Will there be any conviction?

What should we do as writers? We write. My business philosophy, taken from my old job at the Los Angeles County Department of Children Services, is, “If you don’t write it down, it didn’t happen.” For example, if a child was injured or killed in a foster home, or in its parent’s home, and the authorities couldn’t find any documentation in your case, indicating you had made all reasonable efforts to supervise and protect that child, you were in deep trouble.

Likewise, if you don’t write what you are seeing happening here in the United States, you are just as involved in the complicity of these crimes we see around us.

Our job, as a writer, involves taking a stand. What is going on in America is wrong. Systemic racism is wrong. This involves all of its offshoots—mass incarceration of Blacks, poverty, redlining, racial profiling, police brutality, miseducation, and lack of reparations for our ancestors who provided the free labor which built the wealth of this country.

On my last radio show, 7-18-16, where I interviewed 21-year-old author, Terrence R. McCrae, who penned the book, “What Should We All do After the Trayvon Martin Trial?” I’ve cited other books which, (along with the Underground Railroad, abolitionists, and the fact slavery was morally wrong,) helped end slavery. These books include, but are not limited to, David Walker’s Appeal (written in 1829,) Frederick Douglass’s narrative, My Bondage and My Freedom, and even a white writer’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. In the 20th century, another white writer, the late Harper Lee, addressed racism in the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, in the brilliant summation given by the attorney’s character, Atticus Finch. One of the best books of the 20th Century, which addressed the internal devastation (yet the triumph of the human spirit) of slavery, was Pulitzer Prize-Winning novel, Beloved, by Toni Morrison.

Let’s face it. We’re in a war. A war on our community. As artists, this is definitely a time that the power of the written word is just as powerful as YouTube, Periscope, and other social media outlets.

Let us never forget. If you don’t write it down, it didn’t happen. I always see it on a deeper level. Without writing our passage down, “we,” as a people, didn’t happen.

About the Blogger: Dr. Maxine Thompson is a novelist, poet, columnist, short story writer, book reviewer, an editor, ghostwriter, Internet Radio Show Host, and a Literary Agent. As an editor, she has edited numerous best-selling books for African Americans, including many books for men and women who are incarcerated in the prison system. In a down economy, as a literary agent, she has negotiated over 100 book deals for African Americans. She is the author of Novels, The Ebony Tree, Hostage of Lies, LA Blues, LA Blues 2, and LA Blues 3, A Place Called Home (A Short Story Collection), The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell, a contributor to bestselling anthologies Secret Lovers, (A Black Expression Bestseller) All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Black Expression Book Club best-seller, and Kindle Bestseller).

She is also an ebook author of The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell 1, 2, The Hush Hush Secrets of Making Money as a Writer, The Hush Hush Secrets of Creating a Life You Love, Novellas, The Katrina Blues, Capri’s Second Chance, and Summer of Salvation, contributor to Proverbs for the People, and Editor/Contributor to anthology, Saturday Morning.

Her novels, The Ebony Tree, (Won a small Pen Award in 1997), Hostage of Lies, (Voted a Best Book of 2009), LA Blues, (2011), and LA Blues II, (2012), which were featured in Black Expressions’ Catalog in August 2012. LA Blues 3 was published in August 2013.




Dr. Maxine Thompson Live Internet Radio Shows
This Week’s Guest – Monday, July 18, 2016


Maxine Thompson

Dr. Maxine Thompson,
Publisher, Literary Agent, Author, Host of Internet Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses

Dr. Maxine ThompsonArtist First Internet Radio


Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.


July 18, 2016


9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Guest – Monday, July 18, 2016

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the author or Dr. Maxine Thompson


July 18, 2016

Terrence R. McCrea
Author of

What Should We All Do After The Trayvon Martin Trial?


Listen to Archives: Replay

Sponsored by:


EXECUTIVE SPONSORS:

January 4, 2010

Dr. Maxine Thompson

Author of
Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

If you are interested in becoming a guest and/or a sponsor you may visit:

www.maxinethompson.com
,

www.maxinethompson.com/artistfirst.html for available dates
or via e-mail: maxtho@aol.com

>Home

This press release may be viewed with links at www.maxinethompson.com/pressrelease.html


Blog: The Promise and The Peril of the American Dream by Dr. Maxine Thompson


(The Promise and The Peril of the American Dream: Going to See Misty Copeland in the American Ballet at the Los Angeles Musical Center in the midst of a holocaust; the most recent two murders of black men by police)

These two subjects almost seem incongruous: Misty Copeland and the murder of two Black Citizens. However, I see this paradigm as the Promise and the Peril of Black Life/the American Dream.

Last night, July 7, 2016, because of a ticket my daughter, Tamaira Johnson, bought for my 65th birthday last month, we both had the honor of witnessing the gifted hurricane that is Misty Copeland, the first African-American Female Principal Dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, at the Los Angeles Music Center. She danced as “The Firebird,” and she was the consummate performer. In fact, she was fierce. As I watched in awe, I saw the promise of the American Dream.

But there was also a shadow overcasting my pride for our young African American sister. Before the performance, Tamaira, a registered nurse, related how she’d cried when she saw the video of Alton Sterling, with his heart pumping as he bled out, after being shot in the chest by white police. (At the time, I was sequestered in the cocoon world of writing a novel, which is why I hadn’t seen the videos. I’d heard about both shootings on the Internet, though. I’ve stopped watching a lot of the biased news on our American networks.)

Anyhow, when I got home last night, I watched both videos of Philando Castile (killed by the Minnesota Police in front of his fiancée,) and 24 hours earlier, the videos of Alton Sterling, (killed by the Police in cold blood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.) Like many Black people, I am numb, appalled, upset.

Come on, America. What is it going to take to stop this holocaust? Isn’t this the same political climate of Hitler’s Germany before he started his genocide campaign against the Jews, gypsies, and other groups of people? Similarly, when the government withdraws its support from a people, are the people being set up for extermination?

Another question. When will these racist police officers be educated to cultural sensitivity to Black men, in particular? (Actually, they have started killing Black Women, too, such as Sandra Bland who died under suspicious circumstances when she was arrested July 13, 2015 in Texas.) Not to mention, our mass incarceration of Blacks as a new form of holocaust.

Sad to say, this is nothing new. The attempted extermination of Black people has been going on since we arrived in this country in the fifteenth century as indentured servants. Even with the Middle Passage and Slavery, we have been a resilient people.

Looking back in history, we know the flagrant lynchings of Black men, women and children took place in the nineteenth and twentieth century, many of which went unrecorded. Ironically, a book I paid $40 for (around 2002) shows some of the lynchings recorded by whites themselves. The book is titled: Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America Hardcover – February 1, 2000 by James Allen (Author, Editor) http://amzn.to/29GAUnZ

However, the twenty-first century has added something new to the mix—technology. The videos that are showing up now are much clearer than the grainy filming of the now infamous Rodney King beating, which sparked the April 29, 1992 uprising.

But when the police now have a license to kill based on the color of our skin, and the courts won’t take any action against them, what can we do? What steps can we take to turn this tide of mass murders around?

It is time for us to take action. As African Americans, we need healing from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that goes with a five-hundred-year history of abuse in this country. We also need reparations. We need to hold accountable the systems, which are supposed to protect us as American citizens. The courts have to be held accountable. The politicians have to be held accountable. The government has to be held accountable. We need to practice boycotting and do business with our own community.

This is a perilous time we’re living through. Look at all the talent being taken before its promise can be reached, such as in the young Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice’s murders?

Black lives Do Matter!

My heart and condolences go out to the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

Let’s wake up, America.

About the Blogger: Dr. Maxine Thompson is a novelist, poet, columnist, short story writer, book reviewer, an editor, ghostwriter, Internet Radio Show Host, and a Literary Agent. As an editor, she has edited numerous best-selling books for African Americans, including many books for men and women who are incarcerated in the prison system. In a down economy, as a literary agent, she has negotiated over 100 book deals for African Americans. She is the author of Novels, The Ebony Tree, Hostage of Lies, LA Blues, LA Blues 2, and LA Blues 3, A Place Called Home (A Short Story Collection), The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell, a contributor to bestselling anthologies Secret Lovers, (A Black Expression Bestseller) All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Black Expression Book Club best-seller, and Kindle Bestseller).

She is also an ebook author of The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell 1, 2, The Hush Hush Secrets of Making Money as a Writer, The Hush Hush Secrets of Creating a Life You Love, Novellas, The Katrina Blues, Capri’s Second Chance, and Summer of Salvation, contributor to Proverbs for the People, and Editor/Contributor to anthology, Saturday Morning.

Her novels, The Ebony Tree, (Won a small Pen Award in 1997), Hostage of Lies, (Voted a Best Book of 2009), LA Blues, (2011), and LA Blues II, (2012), which were featured in Black Expressions’ Catalog in August 2012. LA Blues 3 was published in August 2013.

Blog: Alex Haley’s TV Mini-Series “Roots” Now Redux

By Dr. Maxine Thompson

6-2-16

Yesterday, I was standing in line at the post office and the conversation turned to the new TV series, Roots. I had watched some of it on my tablet on the History Channel, but my preference is still for the original classic of Roots, which was groundbreaking in 1977 when I first saw it.

Everyone wanted to know why do they keep creating slavery shows or movies now.

Since that was the groups’ consensus, my opinion was why not? I was vocal about it.

Just as the Holocaust victims never let the world forget the Germans’ atrocities and have erected memorials of the concentration camps, (just to name some examples

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/history-of-the-holocaust-auschwitz-oven-factory-reopens-as-a-memorial-a-742013.html),
http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/MemorialSite/Jewish.html),
then why should we, as African Americans, forget the human atrocities done to us?

One reason we should never forget is because of long-overdue reparations.

The Jews and Native Americans will or have received reparations.

http://rollingout.com/2015/10/07/obama-administration-earmarks-12-million-reparations-holocaust-survivors/

http://www.prrac.org/full_text.php?%20text_id=649&item_id=6623&newsletter_id=17

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/26/politics/american-indian-settlment/

Bottom line. Why haven’t we, as African Americans, whose ancestors’ free labor built the wealth of this country received our reparations?

If anything, we need more books and movies regarding what happened to our ancestors for over four hundred years in this country. Perhaps to that end, we will receive our reparations.

Why should the holocaust of 60 million and more Africans be forgotten?

Many young African Americans don’t even know their history. Too much of our history was lost due to the laws that banned reading and writing for slaves. (Oh, how I wish I knew what songs or stories they might have sung during the Middle Passage? How did they survive the voyage at all?)

The main thing that survived (besides a few precious books, such as Frederick Douglass’s autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, and 12 Years A Slave: A True Story : Includes Interviews and Photographs of 30 Former Slaves Authored by Solomon Northrup,)
was the oral tradition.

Our oral tradition is the main vein we have back to the past, such as in Kunta Kinte’s story, which was handed down in Alex Haley’s family.

African Americans not wanting to remember our slave past reminds me of a saying that Harriet Tubman is reported to have said; “I I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

There’s a saying, “If you don’t know your past you will keep repeating it.” (Look at the mass incarceration of African Americans.)

I am currently working on a historical fiction book, which is a prequel to my novel, Hostage of Lies. It has involved a lot of research into the slave ancestors’ past. I am following a story that was told to me by an octogenarian (now deceased) in 1995. I am looking for little known stories and facts to support this story.

  
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