Two Decades Later, Memories Still Vivid For Children of the L.A. Riots

Reporter Jorge Rivas, who has his own memories of living through the Los Angeles riots of 1992 as a child, captured the stories of others his age in an impressive video project for Colorlines:

I was 9-years-old and living just a mile away from the intersection of Normadie and Florence where Reginald Denny was pulled out of a trailer and brutally beaten. I have vivid memories of my mother and I looking out our window at news helicopters in the sky, then turning around and seeing the images they were shooting of our neighborhood on the television screen. I remember the anxiety on my mother’s face because my older brother wasn’t home from football practice yet.

Throughout the past month I’ve been meeting with men and women my age — the children that experienced the LA Riots — and recording their stories.

In the video above, Nyla, whose father was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, recalls a scary drive back from her school in Santa Monica, and her father coming home from covering the riots with blood all over his shirt.

“The most vivid memory is her telling us, “Unbuckle your seatbelt and get on the floor and there was a 7-11 that was right on the corner of Slauson [Avenue] that was just getting looted, crazy looted, like people were just running out [with] bags of groceries, of course we’re peeking our heads up trying to see what was going on and my brother, he’s just like “Mom, pull over! Pull over, let’s get some stuff!” She’s yelling at us, “Get your heads down! Get your heads down!” Yeah and so we just kind of went home…”

For the nine other videos in Rivas’ living history project, go to Colorlines.

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