Black Business 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

Book Review: Having Her Say: A Compilation of Articles by and about Dr. Rosie—Time Keeper, Almanac and Score Keeper for Black America

by Dr. Rosie Milligan


Reviewed by Dr. Maxine Thompson


Having Her Say, Dr. Rosie Milligan’s 21st published book, is her much-awaited master piece. Part memoir, part business book, and part clarion call for Black people to wake up, Having Her Say will leave readers not only with something to think about, but with some action steps to take.


Dr. Milligan’s compilation of essays captures pivotal moments in Black History, such as witnessing the first Black President Barack Obama. Moreover, Dr. Milligan’s articles written since 1990, (which seemed controversial at the time,) prophesied the present condition of Black America. For instance, she predicted the plight of Black America and issued a warning that if Blacks did not change their attitude and economic direction, then history would repeat itself and Blacks would return to slavery, but in a more sophisticated form—having an illusion of freedom.


Given the current state of political anxiety and racial tension, these articles also provide a timely answer and direction as to where to go from here. These essays will help you look back to see where we have come from. Furthermore, they will give you a candid look at the historical moments that have impacted the lives of African Americans from the loss of Black businesses in Los Angeles, to the loss of social programs after the Watts riot in 1965, to the loss of civil rights through “the three strike” law. Dr. Milligan’s articles also chronicle the legal cases of Jena 6, and Christopher Dorner, and the LAPD saga. You feel like you’re getting a history lesson as you read the book, which is divided into sections with articles on Finances, Health, Sex, Family responsibilities to each other and Black Economic Empowerment. There are no-holds barred; she calls out ministers and politicians as to their accountability to “Black Folks.”


Find out what went into the making of the woman who boldly named herself, self-appointed “Mayor of South Central Los Angeles.” Follow Dr. Milligan’s journey from the South, where she describes herself as “an ex-cotton picker, a pea picker, a farmer, a hog slopper,” to South Los Angeles, where she has lived and worked in the community as an iconic leader, a publisher, an activist, and an entrepreneur of multiple businesses for the past 5 decades.


Described as a modern-day Harriet Tubman, Dr. Rosie Milligan has led the way to freedom for many Black businesses and writers through her mentoring and Black Writers on Tour conference, which, despite the economy, is celebrating its 21st year. She has been to Black writers what Barry Gordy’s Motown was to talented Black entertainers in the 1960s through 1980s, having published 350 authors through her company, the Professional Publishing House.


Learn within these pages, how like David going up against Goliath, Dr. Milligan has successfully fought the giants of oppression, racism and imperialism against great odds. Through this book, you will find the source of her strength. She has acted as a servant to God and her people throughout her adult life.


Having Her Say is filled with nuggets of wisdom, garnered from a life well-lived. This book is a conduit where readers will get an insight into how Dr. Milligan thinks and feels, as well as a national treasure, which will add to Dr. Milligan’s legacy by touching more lives.


This book should be in every Black person’s library.


Book is available in hardback and paper back at www.drrosie.com, Express Yourself Book Store, 1425 W. Manchester Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90047 323-750-3592


At Online Sellers.

Reviewed by:


Dr. Maxine Thompson
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com

  
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