Who’s Telling the Story, Anyway?
By Sophia "Bravo" Bravo
In 1943, white sailors and navy men assaulted Mexican-Americans in a series of attacks now known as the Zoot Suit Riots because of the flashy Zoot Suits Mexican youth wore at the time. Filipino and Black youth were also targets of violence.
In 1965, the famous Watts riots happened in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. Even though there were numerous reports of police violence and racial profiling, astronomical rates of poverty, and incredible segregation along Black and Brown lines, these events are still referred to as riots to this day.
Fast forward to 1992: Rodney King is beaten within an inch of his life, and the frustration of marginalized communities at this point is still referred to as riots.
I keep all of this in mind every time I drive through L.A, especially as a young Chican@ from the East Coast.
Los Angeles, the city of Angels: home to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and other bastions of privilege – I wonder what would happen one day if the film industry loved its neighbors in Watts, Compton, and Inglewood as much as it loves the profits from films like Straight Outta Compton or the entire Fast and the Furious franchise.