Sua Shin /North Hollywood Highly Gifted Magnet 9th Grade
On Wednesday, November 22, 2017, the Salvation Army and the 77th Division Police Station in Los Angeles partnered to provide free lunch meals and food boxes to the neighboring community. The event took place around 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. near a gas station at the cross-section of Figueroa and Vernon streets. Volunteers from the Salvation Army, the police, and Big Mountain Leo Club helped distribute the food.
As Thanksgiving was coming up on the next day, they received essential ingredients for a Thanksgiving dinner, such as cans of corn, mashed potatoes, and cranberry jam. A long line filled with various people of different ethnicities and ages was formed since 9:00 a.m., waiting for the event to start.
Many shared their blessings for the upcoming holidays and returned with the gratification from the food and a free lunch. This event also reaffirmed the peaceful relationship between the Korean and the black communities.
The 1992 Los Angeles riots were a series of riots in April and May 1992 that started due to the acquittal of four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department who used excessive violence in the arrest of Rodney King, a black driver who was drunk in the high-speed chase. Koreans were part of the riots as vigilantes who undertook law enforcement by themselves to help guard against rioters.
However, the death of a black ninth-grader Latasha Harlins from a backhead gunshot of an acquitted Korean merchant named Soon Ja Dun who mistook the girl’s actions as stealing products from her family store fueled the anger of the African-Americans. As a result, relations between the African-American and Korean communities significantly worsened, ensuing the Los Angeles riots and directing much of that anger towards the Koreans for the racial discrimination and tensions due to the cultural differences and language barriers. Korean Americans not only faced physical damage to their stores and community surroundings, but they also suffered emotional, psychological, and economic despair.
In spite of the dreadful results, this event has re-established the bond between the two communities and confirmed each other’s interests in recovering the relationship. The Salvation Army is looking forward to initiating more events such as this sharing of free food boxes for upcoming holidays.
<Sua Shin/North Hollywood Highly Gifted Magnet 9th Grade