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Watts riots, 50 years later: What has L.A. learned, and done?

Watts riots, 50 years later: What has L.A. learned, and done?

We look to anniversaries of momentous events — the beginning of World War I (100 years, last July), the end of the Civil War (150 years, in April), the voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., (50 years, in March) — to note the passage of time, to measure the progress of the generations, to indulge in nostalgia. The approach of the half-century mark since the Los Angeles meltdown that began near Watts summons a less celebratory response. There is so much that is depressingly up-to-date about the violence that was then known as the Los Angeles riots (the event has since been mentally compartmentalized into the Watts riots, even though it took three days for the...

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