Author and UCLA historian Brenda Stevenson had no way of knowing that her new book, The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice Gender and the Origins of the L.A. Riots, would be so tragically timely. The headlines she dissects could have been written about the murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida – but this innocent teen was gunned down more than two decades ago in a corner store in Compton.
Brenda Stevenson, The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice Gender and the Origins of the L.A. Riots, New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Review by Elaine Elinson
The unarmed African American teenager was shot and killed. The shooter, claiming self-defense, served not one minute of jail time.
The sorrow, anger and disbelief in the Black community was palpable. One mother wrote to the daily newspaper that she feared the justice system has “told us it is open season on our children.”
This might have been last month’s headline about the verdict in the Trayvon Martin murder case in Florida. It actually happened more than two decades ago, across the country in Los Angeles.
Just two weeks after the brutal beating of Rodney King Continue reading