Program Eight - Segment Two: Sai-I-Gu

Perhaps one of the worst riots in U.S. history began in Los Angeles on April 29th 1992.  Three days and four nights of demonstrations, civil disobedience, rioting, looting and arson ended with 55 people dead, nearly 2,300 injured, and another 10,000 arrested. More than 1100 buildings were damaged or destroyed in sections of South Central Los Angeles and nearby Koreatown.  More than 13,000 National Guard and federal officers were called in to patrol a city that looked like a bombed-out war zone. Though much has been reported about the riots, little has been said about its devastating impact on the Korean American community. Korean convenience stores that sold liquor were especially targeted during and after the riots.  Even less has been said of how Korean Americans rose to the challenge of the tragedy, leading to perhaps the largest protest organized by the Asian American community.


NPR News Archives, Professor Edward Chang, Angela Oh, Don Myoung, Sonny Kang, Aqueela Sherrill, Larry Aubrey. Chindo Arrirang was performed by Chang Hye-Jin and Maria K. Seo and provided by Jack Straw Productions in Seattle, Washington.

Produced by Dmae Roberts and Miae Kim


Aishu Venkataraman, Violinist is a 13-year old violin prodigy, playing in a South Indian style. As Divine Strings, she performs nationally while her father accompanies on drums. While attending middle school, Aishu also takes lessons in classical and bluegrass violin and has already been accepted to a summer program at the Berklee school of music. divinestrings.com

Further Internet Resources:


Abelmann, Nancy & Lie, John. Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots. Harvard University Press, 1997.

Hazon, Don. Inside the L.A. Riots: What Really Happened and Why It Will Happen Again. Independent Pub Group, 1992.

Min, Pyong Gap, Caught in the Middle: Korean Merchants in America's Multiethnic Cities, University of California Press, 1996 

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