Riot Stories

See A Map of Korean Businesses Targeted During L.A. Riots 20 Years Ago

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Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 8:04 AM
click to enlarge ATOMIC HOT LINKS
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Leading up to the 20th anniversary of the L.A. Riots Sunday, the KoreAm Journal has an extraordinary oral history of events, including memories from students, cops and the Korean business owners victimized by the uprising.

Of the more than 3,000 buildings burned to the ground, 1,867 of them were owned by Korean Americans, according to one estimate.

The damage was more widespread than the destruction seen in the riots' South Los Angeles epicenter:

The Journal put together a breathtaking map of the Korean businesses targeted, burned and looted during the unrest, which Koreans call Saigu, for 4/29, the first day of the uprisings.

click to enlarge KOREAM JOURNAL
  • KoreAm Journal

(Click here to see a larger version).

Perhaps what stands out the most on the map is the geographic diversity: Businesses from Huntington Park to Hollywood, Chinatown to Miracle Mile were hit.

The damage covered so much geography that the map is laid out horizontally, with the southern end of L.A. on the right, and the northern end on the left.

Witness Sonny Kang tells the Journal:

We basically had to fortify Korean businesses with rice bags, like sandbags in war. It was unlike anything you can ever imagine. Driving around Koreatown and seeing all these businesses with perimeters of rice bags, it was like a war zone.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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