A Gathering of Heroes: Reflections on Rage and Responsibility : a Memoir of the Los Angeles Riots
On April 29, 1992, actor Gregory Alan Williams walked into the intersection of Florence and Normandie avenues - in the heart of South Central Los Angeles - and into the midst of the worst riot in America's recent history.
Summoning a courage born from the examples of his own personal heroes, Williams, an African American, rescued Japanese motorist Takao Hirata from an angry mob armed with bottles and metal rods. Through an endless shower of projectiles and verbal abuse, he managed to drag the nearly lifeless man to safety.
In this account of that traumatic event and its complex, fascinating aftermath, Williams vividly captures the sights and sounds of that horrendous day, setting them against the background of his own life. He recalls his own experiences with racism and his own violent behavior when he was in the Marines.
All of these experiences are grist for William's mill as he reflects on the meaning of rage, on the ambiguity of attitudes about race and, most importantly, on the obligation we bear when confronted with the mindless face of violence.
Thus, this thoughtful, articulate and touching memoir explores the larger implication of the LA Riots, from the cops' beating of Rodney King, the later beating of Reginald Denny and the subsequent trials of those involved.
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