Arts Preview: Not just about Rodney King: California African American Museum takes a wide view of the 1992 riots

A building at 7th Street and Union Avenue in Los Angeles goes up in flames during the 1992 riots, the subject of a new exhibition at the California African American Museum.
(Ted Soqui)

On April 29, 1992, the city of Los Angeles exploded in violence after a predominantly white jury acquitted four Los Angeles police officers in the videotaped beating of motorist Rodney King. By the time it was over six days later, more than 50 people lay dead and 600 buildings were destroyed.

“No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992,” a new exhibition at the California African American Museum revisits the events on the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots. But it isn’t a simple rehash of images of burned buildings and National Guardsmen in the streets.

FULL COVERAGE: Spring arts guide 2017

Instead, through more than 250 images and objects — including a 1940s zoot suit and a ’90s-era police cruiser — the show digs deep, looking at the long history of policing and minority communities in Los Angeles, as well as housing segregation, the drug war and the other social and political forces that made the uprising so explosive.“It’s common for people to think of 1992 as a reaction to the Rodney King verdict,” says exhibition curator Tyree Boyd-Pates. “It was much more than that.”


It’s common for people to think of 1992 as a reaction to the Rodney King verdict. It was much more than that.

Tyree Boyd-Pates, exhibition curator

“No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992”

Where: California African American Museum, 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles

When: Through Aug. 27



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