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Los Angeles



  • Sanctuary Unmasked: The First Time Los Angeles (Sort of) Became a City of Refuge

    by Paul A. Kramer

    Los Angeles’s first sanctuary law grew out of the refugee wave that had brought Alicia Rivera to the city. By 1982, an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 refugees from El Salvador — a country with fewer than 5,000,000 people — and tens of thousands of Guatemalans had fled to the United States to escape murder, poverty, and starvation.  



  • Getting to Freedom City (Review)

    by Robin D.G. Kelley

    Historian Robin Kelley reviews Mike Davis and Jon Weiner's "Set the Night on Fire," which chronicles the growth of resistance to inequality and miltarized policing in 1960s Los Angeles.



  • How Immigrant Activists Changed L.A.

    by Manuel Pastor

    Immigrant rights organizers and advocates have had their own organizations, agendas, and political battles to improve the quality of daily life in a region in which nearly one-tenth of residents are undocumented and where one in five children have at least one undocumented parent.



  • Second act for the Temple of the Stars

    LOS ANGELES — It was known as the Temple of the Stars: a soaring sanctuary capped by a 100-foot-wide Byzantine dome, built by Hollywood moguls on the eve of the Depression and splashed with the kind of pizazz one might expect at a movie palace rather than a synagogue.But over the last 80 years, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple has become a monument to neglect, its handsome murals cracked, the gold-painted dome blackened by soot, the sanctuary dark and grim. A foot-long chunk of plaster crashed to the ground one night.The congregation, too, has faded; while still vibrant and active, it has grown older, showing no signs of growth. This once proud symbol of religious life in Los Angeles seemed on the brink of becoming a victim of the steady ethnic churn of the city, as its neighborhood grew increasingly Korean and Hispanic and Jews moved to the west side.



  • LA Times interviews Brenda E. Stevenson

    Historian Brenda E. Stevenson (pictured in her UCLA office, with an African sculpture) mostly writes about the long-gone — 18th and 19th century African Americans, and the lives of enslaved women. Then came the case that made history while L.A. watched: Korean-born shopkeeper Soon Ja Du killed black teenager Latasha Harlins over a bottle of orange juice. A jury convicted Du of voluntary manslaughter, but she was sentenced only to probation and community service.Stevenson's new book, "The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins," analyzes the other "no justice, no peace" case that echoes through the 1992 riots and into the present day.Thirteen days after the Rodney King beating, Harlins was shot and killed. Where were you when all of this happened?