Why L.A. Happened: Implications of the '92 Los Angeles Rebellion.
Mainly short, punchy pieces, the essays are written from several topical perspectives, though the ideological current is inarguably Afrocentric. Given this mode of analysis, racism and white supremacy take a deserved whipping. "Racism is a growth industry, especially in an economic depression," Madhubuti writes in his epilogue. And each of the writers contends that racism is the principal culprit in the L.A. rebellion and seemingly every other racial disturbance in America's turbulent past. This is evident from Tony Martin's survey of oppression from slavery to Rodney King, to Bebe Moore Campbell's charge that it will never disappear.
The book has weaknesses. One, it lacks any penetrating class analysis. Two, there are no on-the-ground commentaries or reports from community activists close to the fires. Such an assessment would have provided the book with an additional spark. If none of the writers were eyewitnesses to the multicultural insurrection, they know only intuitively what it means and how it might happen again.
"This will not be our final word," Madhubuti promises. But even if it were, it would remain a carefully considered, well-chosen word that resonates with conviction and vision. --Herb Boyd
Why LA. Happened: Implications of the '92 Los Angeles Rebellion edited by Haki R. Madhubuti; Third World Press. P.O. Box 19730, Chicago, III., 60619, 1993, 287pp, $14.95
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|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||May 1, 1993|
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