Fire this Time: The Watts Uprising and the 1960s
In August 1965 the predominantly black neighborhood of Watts in Los Angeles erupted in flames and violence following an incident of police brutality. This is the first comprehensive treatment of that uprising. Property losses reached hundreds of millions of dollars and the official death toll was thirty-four, but the political results were even more profound. The civil rights movement was placed on the defensive as the image of meek and angelic protestors in the South was replaced by the image of "rioting" blacks in the West. A "white backlash" ensued that led directly to Ronald Reagan's election as governor of California in 1966.
In Fire This Time Horne delineates the central roles played by Ronald Reagan, Tom Bradley, Martin Luther King, Jr., Edmund G. Brown, and organizations such as the NAACP, Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, and gangs. He documents the role of the Cold War in the dismantling of legalized segregation, and he looks at the impact of race, region, class, gender, and age on postwar Los Angeles. All this he considers in light of world developments, particularly in Vietnam, the Soviet Union, China, and Africa.
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The Old Leadership
A Class Divided by Race
Right Left and Center
Local and Beyond
After the Fire
The New Leadership
The State and Civil Society
A Note on Sources
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