Uncover: The Watts Riot of 1965
10:58PM Feb 12, 2020
Good morning, everyone. Good morning. Thank you. Well, as jamario said, I'm Tianna Richards, coordinator Multicultural Student Affairs. So I would like to welcome everyone to today's event, uncover the watts white of 1965. As you may know, Dr. Amani Wazwaz has been a part of the Black History Committee for the past three and a half years. She finds it very important for all students to know African American History and Culture. She finds it very empowering for Americans, African American students to take pride in their culture, and to have a deeper knowledge of their history. She also finds the ability to write deeply empowering and very grateful that murrain allows her to teach writing, composition, and research classes, as well as creative nonfiction. Her areas of specialty are cultural studies, and 19th and 20th century American literature and multi ethnic context. She brings this background into her love was teaching
African American, non Western and American literature so please join me in welcoming Dr. Amani Wazwza as she gives you this discussion today.
Right Thank you. Thank you everybody. Welcome African American lit. Welcome career development and welcome to all the people who came here and for today, let me begin.
Okay, so we're going to be talking about covering uncover the watts riots of 1965. From August 11 1965 until August 16 1965. The watts riots erupted six days later, unfortunately 30 pure four people were killed. 4000 arrests were made 1000 buildings were damaged. Many put on fire. There was a lot of looting. And there were $40 million in damages, according to the 1965 way of living. So if we were to compare it now, the $40 million in damages would be a whole lot more 34 deaths 34 lives lost, and many people's lives were gone. never the same again. What in the world happened? What went on? This was one of the most dangerous riots of the Civil Rights Movement era, what had happened. So what we're going to be doing today is this. We're going to look at the historical background, and I am going to be stressing the human face tremendously here, the human face of the history, and then move into looking at the Los Angeles portion of the hit. Because this is where the watts riots took place, it took place in Los Angeles, when I look into the incident itself, and then an analysis of what had happened. So the presentation today will be divided into three segments. Let's begin with the historical background. So the watts riots took place in the watts region of Los Angeles in 1965. Why were African Americans present there? What was the larger historical context? The larger historical context actually began with mass migrations, and I would like to ask my students in the audience, those of you with an African American ethnic background, those of you with African American ancestry, where did your grandparents or parents come from because Please have participation. Where did your parents or grandparents come from? Before they moved into Chicago, where were they? Anybody want to say yes? Alabama, okay. Alabama, Mississippi, Alabama, Mississippi. Do you know, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana. And so if you notice over here, there is tremendous mass migration from the south, going to the north, which a lot of people know about, but also going to the worst. And yes, people do know about it, but maybe there should be more. I want to ask you do you have a number on how many people migrated from the south, to the north and to the west. Starting from 1915 and going on into the 1970s. Do you have a number? How many? How many migrated? Yes.
Okay, less than that less than dead. But you are right concerning the millions 6,000,006 million people migrated starting from 1915. And they continued, they continued migrating now. So people of African American ancestry of African heritage, their ancestors were forced out of Africa. Then they came to the south. So they've developed roots in the south. They developed family and friendships in the self. Why in the world with 6 million people want to get Out of the South, they didn't really want to put Why would they do that? Yes.
Okay, you are right. The South had a lot of discriminatory laws against people of African descent. So discrimination. Let's please add to what the gentleman said there was discrimination. What else was there going on in the south? Yes. smacks the job opportunities. They wanted better livelihood for themselves and for their children and for their families. So discrimination, job opportunities. Let's add on to what let's add on to these reasons. Why would they leave? 6 million? That's a lot of people, a lot of families. Why would they leave besides discrimination, job opportunities anybody Mike,
trying to get them out.
Okay, harassment and there were groups there were very violent groups. You are right, like. So we will begin here in order to eventually get to our discussion of the watts riots. Let's give a brief background of what was happening with the first great migration, which concentrated on African Americans moving from the south to the northern region. Reasons Why You already pointed out to it max. Number one, jobs. African Americans were pretty much kept enslaved by the sharecropping system. They could work the land, but they were supposed to give a portion of what they produced to the landlord who kept them enslaved. They did not have enough money for their own livelihoods. When people started to pack up, when word got around, that in the north, there was a possibility for them to make more money. People into self did not like that. Why? Because the source of their cheap labor was going away. And they were very upset. A gentleman wrote in the south in the newspaper, why hands for the cause? Why is it that in the south, we're worried about finding the reason about why they're all going away? It says plain as the noonday sun he wrote, he doesn't want to leave. He the African American doesn't want to leave. Of course, they develop their roots and their culture in the south. But he knows if he stays here, he will starve. They have nothing to eat, no clothes and no shoes. Pick up Go ahead, move someplace else, someplace that will give somebody respect and dignity. This was their dream. There was something else moving them forward. And that is what the gentleman in the back and Mike said, racism and violence. So racism and violence, we're pushing them away. Why do I have a tree up there? Mike? Lynch shrink, okay? lynching. So approximately every four days, an African American was lynched in the south. One for us people who fled the South. Why did you flee? They would say, I was scared. I was terrified. There was violence all over. roughly every four days an African American was lynched. There was this African American gentleman who was one day walking and he said This tree and when he walked closer, he saw that an African American man had been lynched. And when it was hanging from there, took off, immediately took off and never looked back. Again. They took off, they had dreams, they had hope, that in the north life would be so much better, that in the north, there would be no violence, there would be no lynching, there would be better job opportunities for themselves and for their children. Isabel Wilkerson is an amazing African American author, and she interviewed many African Americans who had flood the South. And in the end, she concentrated on three African Americans so that they could tell their stories, and she put it together in her book, The warmth the warmth of others, Sons. And she grew her inspiration from African American writer, Richard Wright. Why? Because Richard Wright and his family also flood. And they went to Chicago and Richard Wright said the following, that he was taking his roots away from the south, and putting them somewhere else in the hope that the warmth of another son would give would give him hope. The swarms would warm up his dreams and his he and his dreams would develop. So this was the dream that they carried with them, whether they went to the north, whether they went to the west.
These people who left the south, they tended to be educated, they tended to have very strong stable family lives. And when they went up north, they wanted to find job opportunities for themselves, to better their lives for themselves. And for their Children. Isabel Wilkerson particularly concentrates on one of these prominent African Americans by the name of item A brands and Gladney. And she told her story to Isabel Wilkerson. Why did it may leave the self? Why did she leave her family? She took her children. She took her husband with her as well to it may told the author Isabel Wilkerson, that one day when she was very young, these two white boys in the south, they went and they grabbed her and they dangled her by the feet upside down inside of a well, she was terrified and it stayed with her. And then when she got married, one day, these men came and knocked on the door. They wanted her husband's cousin, they choke him. They dragged him, and they beat him up. Why? Well, there were turkeys missing. And they said that either maze husband's cousin has stolen the turkeys. He did not steal the turkeys. But they beat him up and they beat him up badly. And item his husband nursed him back. But they said enough is enough. She herself was traumatized when she was a child. And then in front of their eyes, they saw that the cousin was B and they're like, okay, we're gonna need to flee. And so they fled. And they worked hard. They worked really, really hard. was life in the north. Easy. What do you say? It wasn't it was not easy. It took them decades to finally buy a home and when they bought a home, what did their white neighbors do? What did the white neighbors do? When they finally bought a home? They fled. So the white neighbors up and fled their neighbor, their neighborhood. And so here was item A. And she was trying and her husband was trying. Her husband were first worked as an icemen. And then he worked in the Campbell Soup company. And she herself ended up being a nurse's aide. African Americans who left the South. We're constantly trying very hard. Life was never easy for them. Take the example of Dr. Olsen sweet. He was a doctor and he went up north and he bought a whole 500 people gathered around his home and started throwing rocks at his house. They didn't want him there next year For the 2020 2021 school year, the one book one college will be discussing the book of poems 1919. Chicago unfortunately faced race riots and 38 people were killed in these race riots. So, if you're still at Moreno Valley, please be reading this book. We will cover the race riots that took place in 1919. So I covered the great the first great migration in general. So from the south, to the north, but then what more people should know about is the travels to the west. What happened? Why did African Americans end up going to the west, we need to first take a look at the African American presence in the West. You have Gov p o, p Whoa, who was the governor from 1845 until 1846. In California, from his name, what is his ethnicity?
Hispanic, exactly. He was Hispanic. He was Mexican, mixed in with African heritage. So what we have in no West in the 19th century is we do have people of African heritage background, and some of them are mixed in with the Mexican background. For a while, there was no discrimination. But then with the onset of the gold rush in 1850 people of African descent started facing discrimination. So earlier, it's a mixed Mexican African heritage, not as much African Americans. Isabel Wilkerson says this One there were railroads and there was a train. African Americans used it as a form of transportation to migrate and to go to another city, another place. So in 1880, the Santa Fe Railroad finished its construction. And so what you have is African American started going into Los Angeles. Before 1865. They were still enslaved. They did not go to the west. 2131 African Americans were in Los Angeles, and then more by 19 ton. The great the first great migration, African Americans went to the north, so there's no significant increase in the population in the West in Los Angeles, but could you please make a note of this, there is the second Great Migration 1940 there. We're sitting 63,700 people of African American descent in Los Angeles by 1965, the time of the watts riots, look at how much it magnified 350,000 people, there is a massive jump going on here from 1940 to 1965. So whereas before they fled to the north and they kept going to the north, now, they started going west. How do you account for that? What are some of your guesses? Why What happened? Why move out to the north to the west? I guess a possibility. Why would they go Yes, gentlemen. They got one
Okay, so maybe the West, maybe maybe the West would have opportunities. So they're guided by the promise of the warmth of other suns as well, too. So it's constantly the dream, the American dream, maybe pick up their roots, and maybe those roots will blossom someplace else. Okay, maybe opportunities and you are so right. Okay. So 1940 this coincides with what was going on during that time. 1939 1940 1941 What was going on? Who said that? Okay, the same gentleman. Yes. The second World War. So what was happening then, was the defense industry needed workers. They needed workers and so did the automobile industry, and so did other industries. So what President Theodore Roosevelt did was he issued Executive Order 8802. And he said the for the following. Franklin Roosevelt, I mean, and he said the following, he said people will not be discriminated again, Franklin Roosevelt, okay. People would not be discriminated against in the defense industry. If people are going to come be coming in, let them come in. no discrimination whatsoever. So people are like, Okay, sure. Let's join in. Let's go to the industries. There are opportunities, just like the gentleman was saying in the back. There are no options. There are opportunities. Well, one gentleman who went up was the following. He was Dr. Robert Joseph Pershing false And he had studied in Macquarie medical school, which is an HBCU. He was a great doctor, he was a surgeon. He was even a captain in the army, extremely intelligent, very, very well educated. When he went to Austria and was a captain in Austria. He was very well respected. And many African American soldiers experience that in Europe, in Europe, the African American soldier was deeply respected. And then when the African American soldier went back to the south, how was the African American soldier treated? How was he treated? poorly, very poorly, and they're like, Wait a second. So I'm here fighting for my country and I'm treated so well in Europe. And then I come back What is supposed to be my own country and I'm not treated very well. Keep in mind, intelligent, educated, he goes back to Louisiana. He's not given the chance to practice being a doctor. He's got all this potential. He's got all this knowledge. He's got all of this experience in him. And he's not permitted to practice his own trade his own art. And so yes, he two picks up. And he too, says, I'm going to go and head out west. Maybe in the West, I'll get the chance to be who I truly am a doctor, a surgeon, and on the way heading out west, he was ward. Don't go out west. You might be leaving Jim Crow in the self, Jim Crow, the set of laws that keep Africa Americans segregated from other people. These are strict laws. Somebody told him in the West, there's no Jim Crow. Instead, there's a Jim James crow. It continues, the discrimination continues. The violence continues. So even on his way to the worst, he faces discrimination. He reaches the West. Is the accepted. No, he's not accepted. So what he does is the following. He works for several years in an insurance company, going from home to home, taking people's blood pressure, and taking urine samples.
He could do so much more. He is a surgeon. He doesn't give up. Sure. The insurance company wants him to be taking blood pressure and taking urine samples door to door. He continues to do that for the sake of himself. His wife, his daughters, his family, because he wants a better life. for them. He works so hard. And then he establishes his own practice. And the population the African American population likes him warms up to him. Here is a gentleman who understands the culture of the South. He understands their culture, their stories, their ways of interacting. They like him very much. He ends up being the doctor for the famous like Ray Charles. He ends up trying so much and doing his best, but he had to work very, very hard, like item he did.
Let's take a look at what about the others. Take a look over here. The segment in blue is where African Americans were permitted to live in Los Angeles, the section in brown, and everybody and everything else and yellow and beige is where the white community lift. What do you make of the SMAP? What do you make of it? Okay, African Americans were forced not to live in 95% of Los Angeles. They were forced to live in a very minor, small area. This continued it did not stay. Let's go into the 1960s. The time of the watts riots. They are trapped. Granted, it grows. We said earlier, that there were 350,000 African Americans trapped in A very small area. Everything else you've got the Caucasian community is living in all of this area. All of these people are forced to live inside of here. What do you think their existence was like in such a small area? Many, many people forced to live in a smaller area in comparison. What was their day to day existence? Like? Yes, Chanel, poverty. Chanel, you, you are right. The job opportunities were very scarce. So they're telling the African American community, you can only live in a very small area you can't spread out. Well, there's housing discrimination. There is also very limited job opportunities. Let's add on more to this. What do you think their lives are like in such a constricted space? It's crowded Yes. crowded, what happens when human beings are put into crowded areas? What is it? Nothing good, nothing good comes out of it. Nothing good comes out of it. They were dreaming of the warmth of other suns. They did not get it here. They did not get it here whatsoever.
There was an attempt, though, for there to be fair housing. So the Rumford Fair Housing Act was passed in 1963. And this act asks for there to be equality and no discrimination and housing. The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, which was anti discriminatory and it asked people not to discriminate whatsoever. Well then California pass proposition 14, which overturned the Romford Fair Housing Act, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. So what was passed? For those two? proposition 14, overturned it? So people kept on discriminating and not giving African Americans that chance to spread out and live elsewhere in Los Angeles. Besides there being unfairness in housing, what else do you think created a deep conflict in Los Angeles, besides not being allowed to live wherever they want it to live? What else must have troubled African Americans during that time? conflict with who? Yes
Okay, that that would happen certain neighbors would burn crosses in front of their homes. There was also conflict with police. There were tons, police relationships in the watts area. So police chief William Parker took over the watts area from 1950 to 1966. He people were uncomfortable with him. the Latino population of watts. The African American population of watts was very uncomfortable with him. He hired police force that were described, held, anti black racist views, anti Latino, racist views as well to he hired police even from the south, there was a time before 1950 when the police force would walk the streets of watts. So they got to know people face to face 1950 and beyond. William Parker did not allow that. He told the police to go inside of cars. And so there was a disconnect between the people in the police force. The police use discriminatory language when they were arresting African Americans. There was an attempt by the African American residents, whatever something would happen, they would try to put in a complaint. They would give it to the police department, and people would not look into that complaint. So there were a lot of issues and problems going on with the police. So, with this going on, this is the historical background. It leads us to that very terrifying day. On August 11 1965. It was an extremely hot day in a congested area. Where are people hanging out on a very, very hot day in an already overcrowded area? Where are they hanging out? Okay. I wish they were hanging out on the streets. All right. They were hanging out on the streets. And so what happened was something happened. This young man over here market fry was driving. And he was driving rather radically, and he was stopped by a police and he and the police started joking. It started out with both of them. joking. And the police said, You're not driving right? Are you drunk? I gotta test you. And he's like, sure. Yeah, I am drunk. So they're laughing about it initially. So his brother right over here. So this is Mark market. And this is his brother Ronald. Ronald goes and he gets their mom Rena. Rena comes to the scene where her son is being arrested. At first, Rena starts chastising her son. Why are you drinking and driving? This is not right. So there is an argument a family argument between the two sons and the mom. But then before we know it, Rena is hit. Market market is hit. They start pulling least start fighting with the family. The family starts fighting with the police. If you notice over here, they're dragging. They're dragging the young man. It's really hot outside. And people are watching all of this. It's already crowded. And they're looking at what's happening. They're hitting an African American family. Rumor starts going around. They're hitting this woman. And another rumor is they're hitting a pregnant woman on top of that, and people start talking. And the rumor source just gets spread around and more people come in. And then there are the people who witnessed all of this happening. Were they witnessing this for the very first time?
Was this something that was happening out of nowhere? No. This was something that they felt they were very familiar with. So anger, they start becoming very angry. They start throwing rocks at the police. When the fire trucks start coming in, they start to block them. One side throws rocks, the other sides start shooting. Terrifying incidents start to happen. It goes out of control. The situation goes out of control. You had people burning businesses, these businesses had been giving African the African American community meat that was rotten. That was spoiled. They were overcharging it. The people who were burning did not burn churches did not burn libraries. They targeted businesses that they felt had wronged them. People were looting as well, too. They were taking From shops, they were taking goods from shops and running off with them. So, what does chief William Parker do? The situation goes out of hand. The police are firing, the police are shooting. People are dying. A lot of African Americans are dying. Three people from the white community ended up dying. He brings in the National Guard to bring in a sense of control to what was going on. So this area gets flooded with the National Guard as well as the police force. And as the days went on, what he did was this he said there was going to be a curfew put in place after eight o'clock. anyone caught walking the streets of watts after eight o'clock would be arrested. 4000 people ended up being arrested 4000 people And some of them just for being out after curfew. Some of them claimed they did not know that there was a curfew going on. So they were just standing there. So they arrested them. So, eventually to go back over here. There were so many losses 34 people dead 4000 arrested. So why did all of this occur? Well, there was this conspiracy going on. And the conspiracy said it was the fault of the communists. The communists were the ones who were spreading lies in the watts neighborhood. They were telling people that they don't have job opportunities, and because they do not have job opportunities, they should rise up and rebel against the establishment. That was one conspiracy theory. Another conspiracy theory said it's the fault of the black Muslims. How is it that a community can go on for six days, rioting and confronting the police and the National Guard? And for their not to be a leadership? It's not possible. They were saying, there must have been somebody who was directing all of these people to go out and write. You just don't have that people just rioting. So communists or black Muslims. So one day there was a call, and the call said, Oh, this black Muslim temple in watts was hiding guns, and they were hiding arms. And people were so ready to believe that because they were thinking people cannot keep up a fight. All these people cannot keep up a fight for days and days, without there being somebody Leaving them. So what they did was the police stormed the black Muslim temple and destroyed it. There were no guns. There was nothing. The leadership that they were looking for. It was there. People were just insisted that there was a leadership. So what did they do?
Just like what happens when there are many riots, a commission is sent out to investigate what happened. Why did this Riot occur? So the makovan Commission wrote up the following looked into the social the psychological, and economic conditions of watts and said, Well, it was a poor housing conditions and the bed schools, no opportunities, no opportunities for development. The high jobless rate, this spread a sense of hopelessness in the people in the community. The report is about 100 pages and what it came out. professor of sociology professor Anthony over shell said, you know, it would over the why, but it didn't go over the motivations, it did not go deep enough into what was going on. So as a sociologist who looks at civil unrest, he started looking into different series to look at the deeper motivation for why the watts right occurred. Well, one theory that was proposed was the following. And the theory was called in sociology, the criminal refresh theory. And in the criminal riffraff theory, it proposes this idea that only You disgruntled African American youth who were criminal in nature, who did not have a job, did not go to school who were prone to criminal behavior. They were the ones who were after the watts riots. So Professor overshot looked into this theory because that was one of the theories that was going on about the watts riot. No, no, he looked into it. He had people interviewed in watts. That's not true. The people who were rioting were not your small segment of teenagers who were out of control, who had a criminal background. He dismissed this theory. So what he did was the following. He interviewed people And he broke them down into four categories. He said, there were those who were the activists, roughly 34,000. People know those 34,000 did not have a criminal record, or, you know, teenagers who were out of control. They were between the ages of 15 and 44, predominantly men, men who were activists, and those who were looting, so 34,000 of these, but then he also noticed the following. There was another category that he felt should really be taken into consideration. And that was the people who sympathize the people who stood and encouraged and remember he's a sociologist, so he interviewed people. He sent others and wants to interview people.
35,000 people, activists, throwing rocks, looting country fronting the police 70,000 people who encouraged all of this to go on 70,000 people, 1000 people who were standing on the sidewalks and encouraging the others, they were sympathetic to what was going on. And then there was also another portion that did not participate at all. Okay, they stayed in their homes, they went to work. And he says, we really have to take this into consideration, because the media at that time was very inflammatory. We have to take a look. Not everybody was active, participating, but you had a very strong portion of African Americans who sympathize with what was going on. Well, why is that? Why is that? So the professor of socio He says the following. When the people saw what was happening to market fry, they took a look. And they saw in him a symbol of all the wrong that was happening to them to their families and to their community. When they broke out in anger, they felt a sense of connection with one another. Fry came to the assemble of all the grievances against them and what was happening to them. And here was a set here was a chance for them to all rise up and be together. He also said the following. There was the pike commission, along with the mccullen Commission and upright commission said if you want there to be changes, you got to make changes In police and community relationships, you can't have a predominantly Caucasian centered police force. You gotta bring in more African American police, for there to be a change. You also have to have a fair, a fair Review Board, not made up of the police department. If they're going to take the complaints, and they're not going to listen, you got to have a civilian police police review board so that they could look at the complaints and fairly and objectively assess what is going on.
Professor oversaw, also took a strong look at William Parker's methods and he criticized him For taking the police off the streets, the police would walk before 1950. I already mentioned this, but I'm going to mention it again. When the police walked on the streets before 1950, at least they got to know the families, the African Americans. Once he put them inside of the cars, there was that disconnect between the community and the police force. William Parker is also known for creating a sense of military presence in watts. So he turned the city he turned that portion of Los Angeles into a military field and this also upset the African American community. So the professor looked more into the motivations. He said, it's not about the riot was not about something personal, something Private, something that happened to a person, just like you know this person in that person, and they're going to take it out on on the police force and the fireman. He said no, once they notice what was happening to the young man who was being arrested, they decided this is shared grievance. This is something that they all share together. There was a sense, the riot brought in this sense of togetherness. So when they were throwing rocks, they were not aiming to hurt anybody. They weren't. They were aiming to obstruct, and they particularly targeted places of grievances. So they felt a sense of unity with one another. When they were confronting the police. They never aimed to kill anybody. What went on Later on what went on with this family it started. I wouldn't say it started with them. But what happened with them sparked the watts Riot reader, the mother lived to be 92 years of age market. This young man over here. Does he want to be the symbol? Does he want all of this that he wants the riot to break out? No. Okay. It haunted him for the rest of his life. He attempted suicide. He never wanted to be part of any of this. So, what happened in 1965, destroyed him, destroyed him emotionally. He had a son the son died before him. He died very young at the age of 42. He never wanted to be the symbol. He never wanted to Any any of this to happen? So he lived, he lived being picked on, he would get arrested every now and then he had the reputation of being a troublemaker. It was all brought on because of what happened in watts. He did not want any of this. So the watts Riot destroyed him.
I want to take a look just like I started the beginning of this presentation by taking a look at the human elements. I want to take a look at other people who are affected. Chris Jordan was a toddler at the time of the riot. And he ended up moving out of watts. He was interviewed in 2015. And he told the interviewer that his children are now teenagers and what does he teach them? In 2015. He teaches them not to make eye contact with the police force and he says i I thought in 2015, things would change that I would not need to give this lesson to my children to my teenage sons. No, I have to still give this lesson so that they could be careful. I want you to take a look at what Professor Henry Louis Gates has to say he is a prominent African American professor. And he said the following that what happened in the watts Riot set the stage continued. It continued racial tension between the police and African American actually stems in part from the battles on Los Angeles streets in 1965. Unfortunately, William Parker's methods of bringing in a heavy police force. He gave people the idea to do more of that. He brought in the idea of tension to flood the streets where there are riots. I want to take a look at another one. One Dylan Fay Butler is was 72 years old. By 2015. She was a young mom in 1965. during the riots, she was at home when her husband and his friends brought in looted refrigerators, and they wanted to bring them in. She looks at her husband and their friends. She's like, you're not bringing that in, you're going to go and take that back. And so her husband and his friends, take back the looted goods, they take it back, and years and years. Well, actually, a few years later, when she got on the bus, this mother and her son, this Caucasian mom and her son wanted to push her out of the way. And one Dylan Butler told us, the mom Why are you pushing me? And my mom said, I'm pushing you because I'm white. And I want to take your seat. And Gwendolyn told her sorry, you're not going to take my seat, you have come to the wrong place. Wunderland feels it was the watts riots that empowered her that empowered her to make a stand for her not to be moved. So the warmth of other suns, the great migration, the second great migration, the first one, and the second one, the African American community wanted to find the swarms someplace else. They knew they were not going to find it in the south. Maybe the North would give that opportunity, maybe the West. I attempted to show examples of some people who worked very very hard and they created that warmth for themselves, you could say. And then there were others who were forced into watts into a very tight region was no opportunities for development. And that warmth was never found. And so they erupted and found a sense of togetherness. But that sense of sadness lingered. And so it's not one story. It's multiple stories. And maybe that warmth from another son will one day be found. Thank you so much.
All right, any questions? My class has to stay. Everybody else? Yes, yeah. Okay. Okay. Give me a second class. Most of you in our African American lives. I want you to stay I do want you to stay. The others you're welcome to stay or you may you may leave I understand
plasto has a little bit of time as well.
What is it? I said misuses class.
yums class still has a little bit.
Okay. All right. Please have a seat. Okay. All right.
So my question basically was, can you make the connection between how they were forced to live in these communities and what we know as the ghettos today? Yeah. And how we see the structure of the cities today in the inner city today, can you make that connection
for us? Okay, so what a lot of people still say is that it's still going on that Shania, in article after article that I've read, it would always end with and the makaan Commission made these suggestions and nothing happened. And the polite High Commission made these suggestions and nothing happened as well to so many We continue to see it, we continue to even see these types of neighborhoods, not far away, like maybe 2030 minutes, you know, right over here in our very own Chicago. So it continues going on as well to my African American lit class. This very Thursday is going to be your reading in darkness and confusion by Anne Petrie. And this short story takes place in 1943. It's a result of the Harlem riots. What's great about writing and writing fiction is it helps you to take a look inside of the souls of people. And so what you notice is people are not just living in overcrowded positions, but it's taking a toll on them emotionally, whatever, you put people in a very tight position. That's what it's doing. It's taking a toll on them. They cannot they feel there's no hope when they're surrounded. Things are not clean, and are not organized, which is what I would witness when I was going to the EULA. And taking the red, the red line is, I would see the area needed more cleaning the area needed somebody to take care of it. Later on, I read that whenever you have a college or university, a neighborhood where there's even broken glass, it's sun's out. Psychologically, this idea that you could do whatever you want, we don't care about you. So, you know, people who lived in 1965 were children or teenagers, or young moms and dads. They're like, it's still going on it things have not really changed that much. More questions please. My class, the other class.
shamari or case Yes.
This one question. You think that it's like an uncanny parallel between the watts riots and the riot that happened with rodney king in 1992.
But there is a connection between them. Yeah. Oh yes. No there there is. You know, this is what happens when there is no sincere attempt to remedy the situation. Like for Rodney Rodney King, the video what happened and how he was mistreated in in 19 in 1992. Like for market, it was they were you know, there was like a fight going on and for rodney king. It was tape recorded and And the videotape was shown all over. And people that live in the United States of America woke up in 1992. To be like, What's going on here? I agree with you the word that you use is uncanny. 1965 1992 history repeats itself all over again. And what they say in spirituality and philosophy is for the individual for community, if something is not remedied if there is no healing, it's going to become again and again and again, until there is a sense of healing. We did not see in 1992 a sense a sense of healing going on. You know, I witness what had happened. A lot of my students were not worn at that time, but it was a very uncanny repetition as you're saying. Mike,
what happened? Brother
What how what happened to Ronald? I don't know Mike I do I do not know I concentrated. I, I like to find out about the human, the human side of the story. And they concentrated on the mom dying at the age of 92. And then I concentrated on Mark market himself, and just his attempt at suicide. Like it's something that I focused a lot on. I it's something that I could look into more, Mike, what happened to Ronald, please? Yes, Google, Ronald pry. Ronald fry. Any anybody else, please? Anybody? Questions? Brianna. Any questions? shamari. Chanel. Any questions? Besides questions? What about reactions? Here reactions? Can you please You know, share your reactions. How many of you knew of the watts Riot? How many of you would like to share, please share your reactions to what you heard.
Okay, my name is Lauren. And my first reaction to I heard about the watts right, but I didn't know in detail. Right, but I definitely feel like history repeats itself for sure. Like till this day and 2020 definitely, there's still a lot of police brutality and stuff like that going on in inner cities, and it's sad. It's really sad. Okay.
So you had knowledge of it, but not in detail. And you do see history repeating itself. Yes, Chanel,
I would say, just to go off what you said already, and when she said, it's very, like obvious that history repeats itself. Just growing up and experiencing some of the ghettos and from what I learned in your class, just from what we learned today, right? It's like for me, like the guy can Recall his name, the police chief, William Parker, he looks very evil. And I feel like a lot of things back in the 60s 70s 80s. I feel like a lot of laws in different things were put into place to destroy the black community. And it's like everything that they tried to kind of undo as time you know, progress. It seems like we're regressing, we're not progressing, and history is going to continue to repeat itself. Until and I said this in class until we all die. It sounds really bad and it sounds like girl, but it's the truth until it's all done. And over. I feel like we're going to continue to experience these things as black people. We can get up every morning we can rise above the occasion, we can be better, we can raise our kids to be better. But if everything is set in place to go against us, it's like okay, like we We can we can do these things we can try to win we can, you know, but it seems like no matter what it is, is the odds are always against us. So it's like, yeah, let's be good. Let's do good, let's, let's do it. But if if you're telling me that all these laws are set into place, the laws need to be changed. First of all, that's the problem. The laws are screwed up, that needs to be changed. And then it's like, Okay, if we're still talking about things that happened way back when, and it's still going on today. Really, what do we do? That's really the question, because when you gave us You said that with the riots, I wanted to say something really bad. But I'm like, let me let me it was was your thing. When you said that? They went in, you know, went into the black Muslim temple or whatever it was. There like has to be someone who's leading this because they think that as blacks were too stupid to actually get together, form a community come together and right Buffy so it's somebody it was it was too big of a deal for these blacks that have come together and did this. for them. It's like, they don't even care why we're writing. That was the thing for me. They didn't the it wasn't why we're writing, how do we make this better? It's their writing, it's a problem. And that's as black people right then and there that should have said something to us. Together, we will destroy them. We will destroy them. If we come together. Not we're gonna fall like it's gonna just all fall apart if we don't come together. But again, as a black person, somebody who comes together somebody who's willing to stand for the cause. We can do all these things and come together but again, if everything is set in place to go against us, we're never truly going to win. We're going to come to the point where we got the Martin Luther King's and the Malcolm X's and you know, everybody's doing their thing. And But still, in all is still never really made a big difference. So I just think that my opinion on It is that love conquers all, outside of the whole race thing. And in life you have love and you have hate is those who choose to hate. They're the problem. And when we choose to love and help each other, instead in unity, we win that way. Whether we're white, black, Caucasian, Mexican, whatever it is, choose love over hate. And that's that's like one of the biggest things we could do to start to move for.
Chanel, just to comment on it. Wait, what you were saying? Exactly. Love, togetherness. It's a matter of the mind. It's the matter of the heart. Dr. Martin Luther King. As you know, his days were coming to a close. He noticed this and he was becoming so sad. He was becoming so depressed. He was saying I can go around and change all the laws that I can But if inside of here, it's not changing, then that is a big problem. And he fought so long. And he fought so hard. And you mentioned that key word, you know that that love that, you know, unity and to extend it towards everybody. And that is really significant. So that's a great point. Okay. Thank you. Any other questions? Any comments towards what Chanel said? Comments? Okay. Yes, African American lit. Can you please to sneem Please stay I know you have class. But we still have time. I do need to take attendance. I'm sorry. Okay, good.
Well, thank you guys for listening. I'm at this time we will end our event. We do have two more events coming from Black History Month. We have tomorrow from three, three to 430 you matter if you want 11 and then the Black History Month celebration on the 19th and Next week on a Wednesday, so just join us in building you from 11 to 2pm. And please give Dr. WISE WISE a round of applause.