"What the two parties agreed upon is about the issue of the liquor store on 79th and Western, and how do we bring an end to that (boycott)," said Yoon Hee Kim, a mayoral adviser speaking for a group of Korean-American leaders gathered Friday in Bradley's office. "It's not about all those other things."
Deputy Mayor Fabiani confirmed that Bakewell's 10-point code of ethics had not been agreed on either by Korean-American groups or by other black groups.
"Clearly, he (Bakewell) has a lot to say about events in South-Central Los Angeles," Fabiani said. "He is a charismatic and articulate figure, but it is naive to think that one person will dominate these discussions."
In its efforts to make the truce stick, the mayor's office is trying to bring a broader array of black and Korean-American leaders into the peacemaking process.
Fabiani said leaders of the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, among others, have already been working with Korean-Americans to draw up a merchants' code of ethics.
Early in the boycott, Bradley--who had opposed it from the start--tried to meet with Bakewell but was rebuffed.
Bakewell vowed that he would not negotiate with anyone until the boycott reached its 90th day--a stance that strained his friendship with Bradley and drew criticism from the County Human Relations Commission.
A source close to the negotiations said some city leaders, including Councilman Woo, tried to get other black leaders to help break the impasse. But the attempts did not work, the source said, because other black leaders did not want to appear to be at odds with Bakewell.
"Privately, they loved to criticize him, but publicly, they were afraid to cross him," according to the source. "There were a lot of leaders who felt that this (the boycott) was the wrong way to go, but they felt paralyzed."
In mid-September, when the boycott reached its 90th day, Bakewell and other community activists announced the formation of the African American Honor Committee, which would monitor businesses in South-Central Los Angeles and perhaps find new boycott targets. At that time, Bakewell also announced that the committee would be willing to come to the negotiating table.
About the same time, officials of the Korean Grocers Assn., primarily Yang Il Kim, the group's national president, were trying to come up with a resolution. For the first time, they began indicating to the mayor's office their willingness to press the store's owner to close his doors in exchange for an end to the boycott.
"What I got from Mr. Kim was a fierce determination to grab this issue and deal with it," Fabiani said.
By Monday, the two sides met face-to-face for the first time in a session organized by Bradley's aides and held at the offices of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. According to key participants, Kim raised the possibility of selling the store as part of an agreement to end the boycott, but Bakewell insisted that the sale would have to occur before the picketing would stop.
The following day, the mayor's office came up with the first draft of the final agreement, which called for simultaneous concessions: closing the store and ending the boycott at the same time.
In the end, the agreement almost became a victim of protocol, with the two sides unable to agree on how it should be announced. The Korean-Americans wanted to hold a joint news conference, but their leaders were leaving town Friday morning.
At the same time, Bakewell indicated he was going to hold a news conference after they left. That panicked city officials, who envisioned a scenario in which Bakewell would announce that he had made an offer in good faith, only to have the Korean-Americans leave town without responding.
In a flurry of last-minute activity Thursday, the mayor's aides raced to convene a late-night meeting of Korean-American leaders who were gathered at a banquet at a Universal City hotel. Huddled over a table in the hotel lobby while the banquet went on without them, the leaders agreed to announce the accord on the spot.