Donna Wilson was 18 years old at the time and living with her parents on th St. Lee and Wilson recalled the magnitude of the violence. Looting and arson broke out across South Central Los Angeles, with rioters targeting commercial buildings. Lee said that often it was too dangerous for firefighters to battle the blazes.
LouisCincinnatiPhiladelphiaBostonand New York City to pursue jobs in newly established manufacturing industries; to cement better educational and social opportunities; and to flee racial segregationJim Crow Lawsviolence and racial bigotry in the Southern states.
This wave of migration largely bypassed Los Angeles. In the s, in the Second Great Migrationblack Americans migrated to the West Coast in large numbers, in response to defense industry recruitment efforts at the start of World War II.
The President Franklin D.
Roosevelt administration had issued an Executive Order directing defense contractors not to discriminate in hiring or promotions, opening up new opportunities for minorities. Since the beginning of the 20th century, Los Angeles has been geographically divided by ethnicity.
In addition, they found themselves excluded from the suburbs and restricted to housing in East or South Los Angeleswhich includes the Watts neighborhood and Compton. Such real-estate practices severely restricted educational and economic opportunities available to the minority community.
Davenport Builders, for example, was a large developer who responded to the demand, with an eye on undeveloped land in Compton. What was originally a mostly white neighborhood in the s increasingly became an African-American, middle-class dream in which blue-collar laborers could enjoy suburbia away from the slums.
In a thinly-veiled attempt to sustain their way of life and maintain the general peace and prosperity, most of these suburbs barred black people, using a variety of methods. White middle-class people in neighborhoods bordering black districts moved en masse to the suburbs, where newer housing was available.
The spread of African Americans throughout urban Los Angeles was achieved in large part through blockbustinga technique whereby real estate speculators would buy a home on an all-white street, sell or rent it to a black family, and then buy up the remaining homes from Caucasians at cut-rate prices, then sell them to housing-hungry black families at hefty profits.
The Rumford Fair Housing Act, designed to remedy residential segregation, was overturned by Proposition 14which was sponsored by the California real estate industry, and supported by a majority of white voters.
Psychiatrist and civil rights activist Alvin Poussaint considered Proposition 14 to be one of the root causes of black rebellion in Watts. InWilliam H. Parker was appointed and sworn in as Los Angeles Chief of Police.
After a major scandal called Bloody Christmas ofParker pushed for more independence from political pressures that would enable him to create a more professionalized police force.
The public supported him and voted for charter changes that isolated the police department from the rest of the city government. In the s, the LAPD was promoted as one of the best police forces in the world. Chief Parker coined the term " Thin Blue Line ", representing the police as holding down pervasive crime.
When Rena Price reached the intersection of Avalon Boulevard and th Street that evening, she scolded Frye about drinking and driving, as he recalled in a interview with the Orlando Sentinel.
Backup police officers attempted to arrest Frye by using physical force to subdue him. After rumors spread that the police had roughed up Frye and kicked a pregnant woman, angry mobs formed.
Police came to the scene to break up the crowd several times that night, but were attacked when people threw rocks and chunks of concrete. After a night of increasing unrest, police and local black community leaders held a community meeting on Thursday, August 12, to discuss an action plan and to urge calm.
Later that day, Los Angeles police chief William H. Parker called for the assistance of the California Army National Guard. Governor Pat Brown declared that law enforcement was confronting " guerrillas fighting with gangsters". Sergeant Ben Dunn said: Angered over the police response, residents of Watts engaged in a full-scale battle against the law enforcement personnel.
Rioters tore up sidewalks and bricks to hurl at Guardsmen and police, and to smash their vehicles. Arson and looting were largely confined to local white-owned stores and businesses that were said to have caused resentment in the neighborhood due to perceived unfairness such as high prices.
All residents outside of their homes in the affected areas after 8: Eventually nearly 3, people were arrested, primarily for curfew violations. By the morning of Sunday, August 15, the riots had largely been quelled.
Around 70, people were "sympathetic, but not active. The whole point of the outbreak in Watts was that it marked the first major rebellion of Negroes against their own masochism and was carried on with the express purpose of asserting that they would no longer quietly submit to the deprivation of slum life.
Homes were not attacked, although some caught fire due to proximity to other fires.Browse 50 Years Since The Watts Riots Began In Los Angeles latest photos.
View images and find out more about 50 Years Since The Watts Riots Began In Los Angeles at Getty Images. Watts riots, four unidentified young men (originally described as gang members) hang out in a ruined building in the Watts neighborhood, Los Angeles, California.
A short article in the Aug. 11, , Los Angeles Times reported on the origins of the riots in Los Angeles' Watts neighborhood: "Aug. 11, At p.m. in Watts, a California Highway.
Watts is a neighborhood in southern Los Angeles, California. Special promotion has been given to the museums and art galleries in the area surrounding Watts Towers at East th The Watts Christmas parade was created in by Edna Aliewine before the Watts riots.
She put together a group of local volunteers to fundraise and State: California. In the predominantly black Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, racial tension reaches a breaking point after two white policemen scuffle with a black motorist.
The Watts riots, sometimes referred to as the Watts Rebellion, took place in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles from August 11 to 16, On August 11, , Marquette Frye, Great State of California, dissected the riots in detail in a fact-based semi-documentary tone.
On Wednesday, 11 August , Marquette Frye, a year-old black man, was arrested for drunk driving on the edge of Los Angeles’ Watts neighborhood. The ensuing struggle during his arrest sparked off 6 days of rioting, resulting in 34 deaths, over 1, injuries, nearly 4, arrests, and the.