March 24, 2002 |
"The value placed on the color of the skin is always and everywhere and forever a delusion," James Baldwin said in 1976. And yet, as four recent books on race make clear, this country is obsessed with race and skin color. Matthew Pratt Guterl's "The Color of Race in America, 1900-1940" shows the utter arbitrariness of racial categories. Even the label "white" has changed its meaning over time.
May 4, 1992 |
Not since the Persian Gulf War has a story directly involving the United States captivated so much of the world's attention. And to some members of the foreign press, Los Angeles' riot is more ominous than outright war: It is a harbinger of deep troubles close to home, wherever home may be. Told in blaring front-page headlines and violent videotape, the upheaval in Los Angeles is receiving epic exposure overseas only in part because of what it...
February 20, 1987 |
Zero db by Madison Smartt Bell (Ticknor & Fields: $15.95) "Zero db," the cryptic title of this short story collection, refers to the critical point on the narrator's tape recorder. Above zero db the tape will be saturated and the sound a jumble of noise; below it his whispered voice will be inaudible. Though this suggests a wan, faint murmur, the actual tone is vigorous and distinctive; exactly the proper frequency for these subject tales.
May 7, 1992 |
If this gritty city in northern New Jersey is any example, South Los Angeles faces a long, painful recovery from the devastation of last week's riots. Twenty-five years after the violent race riots that rocked Newark's predominantly black Central Ward, leaving 26 people dead and more than $10 million in property damage, the wounds left by the death and destruction are still visible in the community and among its residents. "We've earned a Ph.D in rioting," said Mayor Sharpe James.
May 10, 1992 |
The Texan in the White House is unhappy, watching America's cities in flames, seeing his formerly sky-high job approval down in the 40s, hearing voters demand an end to overseas adventurism and greater focus on domestic priorities, wincing at his stunning embarrassment by a little-known rival in the New Hampshire primary, listening to citizens grumble about the bankruptcy of the political Establishment and facing what could be the strongest third-party presidential challenge since 1912.
August 3, 1992 |
"The first need of a free people is to define their own terms." --Stokely Carmichael, 1967 It is the one topic everyone in L.A. still discusses with passion. But as people discover in awkward mid-sentence pauses, three months after the fact, the city is still far from agreement on a basic point: What are we talking about? People calling public radio station KPFK know for sure that the violence of April 29 and 30 was a righteous uprising.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 15, 2000
Re "Sheriff's Department Seeks Solution to Race Riots in Jail," May 9: We have been offering volunteer services to prisons around the world for 15 years. Integration is the answer to racial healing. Community brotherhood. How about some extra incentives for prisoners to become teachers or mentors? Turn down the lights a few hours a day; put up some helpful reentry information, some self-control techniques; play some jazz, classical or oldies music once a day when the lights are down. Small acts of kindness toward prisoners will go a long way toward community renewal both inside and outside the bars.
July 8, 2001 |
Police fought to restore order in the northern British city of Bradford after hours of race riots that left 80 officers injured by a hail of bricks, bottles and gasoline bombs. Five civilians were hospitalized--two with stab wounds--after violence erupted between white and South Asian youths in Bradford, where a scheduled far-right parade had been banned by police.
November 1, 1996 |
Authorities declared a state of emergency in the Mississippi Delta town of Leland after hundreds of angry residents rioted over the mysterious death of a black motorist. After surveying a trail of damaged police cars and businesses, Mayor Sam Thomas imposed a 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew through the weekend. Leland is a town of about 6,300 people on the western cusp of the state's impoverished Delta region.
February 5, 2000 |
A state commission recommended Friday that reparations be paid for one of the nation's deadliest racial clashes: a little-known 1921 rampage by a white Tulsa mob that killed as many as 300 people, most of them black. The 11-member panel called for direct payments to survivors and victims' descendants, scholarships and a tax checkoff program to fund economic development in Tulsa's mostly black Greenwood area and a memorial to the dead.