Term Paper On The Watts Riots

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Bradley arrived with her husband, Henry, to visit a relative in the Avalon area, getting there shortly after the initial flareup over the arrest by two patrolmen.

Things had quieted down momentarily, she said, when 25 to 30 police cars went through the neighborhood with sirens wailing.

This week marked the 45th anniversary of the Watts riots in Los Angeles.

Watts, a mostly black working-class neighborhood since the 1940s, became a hotbed of racial tension and injustice throughout the early 1960s.

It goes beyond the mere recital of statistics to discuss, somewhat sympathetically, the real problems of the Watts community—problems like unemployment, inadequate schools, dilapidated housing—and it seems at first glance to be leading toward constructive programs.

It never reaches them, however, for, again like the Moynihan Report, it is ambivalent about the basic reforms that are needed to solve these problems and therefore shies away from spelling them out too explicitly.

Viewed by many of the rioters themselves as their “manifesto,” the uprising of the Watts Negroes brought out in the open, as no other aspect of the Negro protest has done, the despair and hatred that continue to brew in the Northern ghettoes despite the civil-rights legislation of recent years and the advent of “the war on poverty.” With national attention focused on Los Angeles, Governor Edward P.

Brown created a commission of prominent local citizens, headed by John A.

This message came home to me over and over again when I talked with the young people in Watts during and after the riots, as it will have come home to those who watched the various television documentaries in which the Negroes of the community were permitted to speak for themselves.

At a street-corner meeting in Watts when the riots were over, an unemployed youth of about twenty said to me, “We won.” I asked him: “How have you won?


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