The brutal beating of Rodney King by LAPD officers is frequently cited as being an impetus for the L.A. Riots, which took place 25 years ago this April. Less frequently do people remember Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old girl who was shot in the back of the head by Korean convenience store clerk Soon Ja Du after a dispute over orange juice. Du was tried and convicted of voluntary manslaughter, and was sentenced to probation and community service and had to pay a $500 fine but served no prison time. In honor of Harlins and girls who have or will suffer similar fates, the California African American Museum hosts a panel discussion called #BlackGirlsMatter, featuring Brenda Stevenson, professor of history, UCLA; Funmilola Fagbamila, professor, activist, and an original member of Black Lives Matter; Shamell Bell, UCLA doctoral candidate and an original member of BLM; Tia Oso, national organizer, Black Alliance for Just Immigration; Denise Harlins, Latasha's aunt; and Britni Danielle, Ebony Magazine.
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