Thursday, March 16, 2006

We Haven't Forgotten You, Latasha

March 16th: On this date in 1991, Latasha Harlins was killed. Thirteen days after the Rodney King beating, a storeowner shot and killed Black teenager Harlins in the back of the head.

The merchant, Soon Ja Du, a 49-year old Korean woman who, with her husband, owned the Empire Liquor Market Deli in South Central LA, was charged with murder. She was later found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, but Judge Joyce Karlin granted the defendant probation. The store was later firebombed.

For those of you who were living in LA during this time, you no doubt remember this case - and still can't forget it. The murder of this child was played over and over again in the media, with the footage taken from the surveillance camera inside the store.

Latasha's death, (and the fact that Soon Ja Du, chick who pulled the trigger, received no jail time) played an instrumental role in this city going down in flames in '92. 'Pac often spoke about Latasha in his lyrics.

Read more about the worth of a young black life in South Central Los Angeles here.

Justice, peace.

Supa, out.

16 comments:

Cocoa Girl said...

Wow...I always wonder what happened to that store owner. That's crazy that she was giving probation. I gotta Google this shyt now...

Supa said...

Cocoa: Just added a quick link to Judge Karlin in the post.

Far as I know, that ho was never recalled.

P said...

No, we haven't forgotten.

Latasha Harlins, Rodney King, and other miscelleous activities that were going on in the late eighties, early nineties were building an undercurrent of unrest in what they call "South Central Los Angeles."

We were first hand witnesses of instances of outright, blatant abuse by small business owners, the po - po (Lennox Ave, anyone?), as well as other anomalies that people were infringing upon us through that period.

We were in a constant state of unrest. We were the powder keg was that close to exploding.

For those that did not live here and experience it first hand, is that the 'riots', as they are so generically called, was really an uprising. It was years of oppression, hurt, anger, frustration, loss, violence, abuse, dysfunction, rage, and helplessness. It defined the nineties and described the eighties.

I remember that Cube said in his song "April 29th brought power to the people, AND YOU MIGHT SEE A SEQUEL".

The revolution will not be televised.

Single Ma said...

I heard about this story and remember seeing clips of it on the news. I was way on the other side of the country but I remember my whole neighborhood was appalled by it as well. I can't believe the judge made it to the CA supreme court BECAUSE of this ruling. WTF!!! *smh*

Supa said...

WORD muthafuckin UP, P!

Cocoa Girl said...

Damn. Southern Cali is out of control...what's up with that? To this day, I sometimes ponder how the L.A. systems can get away with such blatant racism over and over. Now, granted, I know it exists other places - especially in NYC - but it's muthaf*cking crazy. So hard to believe.

Anonymous said...

Ahh the judicial system at work in SoCal. Well I watched this video and was so sickened by what I saw. People; immigrants are skirred to death of black folk, and don't respect them either. Its no wonder the Korean lady could so easily pop a cap in a kid, to her she was a "nothing". I wonder do we owe them the luxury of getting to know us, or should we put them through the excelerated course, knowing black folks 101.

SS

Supa said...

how long will they kill
our prophets
while we
stand aside
and look?

~Robert Nesta Marley

African girl, American world said...

so don't you forgot
no way
who you are
and where you stand in the struggle
Marley

I had no idea bout the store owner bit, kew bout the shooting....man!

P said...

Can somebody please bring me a Johnny's Pastrami?

((hugs))

Knockout Zed said...

Where did they set up shop after the first store got firebombed? One good turn...

KZ

Sangindiva said...

I remember this!!
I was a freshman at Washington High
(GO GENERALS!!). The store stayed empty and boarded
up a long time. BUT I think now it's a liquor store or something again. Everytime I drive by there I think of that
day because I remember it so vividly. And I was there.
I lived through the S. Central uprising. I was on a field trip that day. Came out that night to the bus and the city was on fire with a dude runnin' down the street with a VCR under each arm! Crazy Times!!

Anonymous said...

Why do we continually allow other ethnic groups to come into our neighborhood to set up shop? Pleas stop patronizing these stores.

Cocoa Girl said...

For real, anonymous, for real. I don't understand the idea of patronizing folks who do you wrong. But, then again, I do remember being real young and having to board the bus with mom and groceries and garbage bags full of laundry. So, I'd imagine that if you don't have many options, you go where you can.

Paula D. said...

A shame....

Free said...

Never heard about the details. This just makes me so sad.