“The Grim Sleeper: The Lost Women of South Central” by Christine Pelisek details the investigation that led to the arrest of Lonnie Franklin, a serial killer dubbed the Grim Sleeper. At the time, South Central was a neighborhood that grappled with low incomes, employment instability, drug addiction, and the crime that often accompanies those social issues. Deaths did not receive the same level of attention or scrutiny as they might have in other communities. For decades Franklin took advantage of that neglect as he prowled South Central Los Angeles attacking and murdering Black women with seeming impunity.
Tag: <span>los angeles</span>
“LA 92” is a 2017 documentary about the racial tensions that erupted into riots in Los Angeles in 1992. At the core of the unrest was the acquittal of four White police officers who had been caught on video savagely beating a Black man, Rodney King. The relatively light sentencing of a shopkeeper who shot and killed an unarmed Black girl who she thought was stealing also contributed to the unrest. The documentary explains these two contributing events but also explores the city’s decades long history of discrimination and ill-treatment of its Black population.
“Kindred” is a 1979 novel by Octavia E. Butler that blends science fiction with historical fiction by combining time travel with slave narratives. Dana is a Black woman who is a writer living in Los Angeles. She suddenly finds herself being transported back and forth between the then-present and a plantation in Maryland before the Civil War. During her travels to the past, Dana meets ancestors both enslaved and slave owners at different points in their lives. In effort to ensure that she will exist in the future, Dana tries to balance navigating antebellum society with attempting to have a positive influence on her ancestors.
A review of “Boyz n the Hood”, John Singleton’s 1991 film debut about a boy who goes to live with his father in South Central Los Angeles. The story follows Tre and his friends as they grow up in a rough inner-city neighborhood that is plagued by violence. With the guidance and discipline instilled by his no-nonsense dad, Tre avoids many of the pitfalls that seem destined to trap his friends. The film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director Academy Awards launching Singleton’s career by making him the youngest person ever and the first Black person to be nominated for Best Director.
“My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire is an autobiography by Maurice White written in collaboration with Herb Powell. The book tells the story of White’s early life growing up in Memphis and his eventual move to Chicago where he decided to pursue music as a career. Fans of Earth Wind & Fire might particularly enjoy learning about the vision that went into forming the group, the making of various songs, and how it was all translated for live stage shows. The book would also be a great pick for people who are interested in music history and/or the music industry though they might not necessarily be fans of the band.