June 8, 2020: Last Week in Los Angeles

A lot happened this last week but it’s not really new. In fact, the painful events happening now are a result of things that have been happening for generations. They are also not unique to Los Angeles but their effects on the city were obvious.

Protests Still Going Strong

Protests continued throughout Los Angeles and this time, the message was the story. Demonstrations all weekend have been peaceful and drawn larger crowds than the prior weekend. Saturday saw organized protests in Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles, Highland Park, as well as on several university campuses. As of Sunday evening, 20,000 strong gathered in Hollywood demanding racial equality, an end to racism and hatred, and an upheaval of police and government. {Read More}

Blackout Tuesday

Tuesday, June 2nd, the digital world made a silent statement that was heard loudly across multiple platforms. The idea was to not post normal content and instead post a black square in solidarity with the movement to end racial discrimination. There are times when silence is the loudest sound. {Read More}

Run the Jewels

Music matters in Los Angeles. The uprising of 92 had a soundtrack that included the powerful words of Rage Against the Machine, Tupac Shakur, N.W.A., and others. Protest music had almost completely disappeared in recent years but it came back strong last week. It didn’t come from Los Angeles artists but it certainly blared from speakers all over L.A.—including my own. Run the Jewels, the powerful duo of Killer Mike and El-P, released their 4th album, RTJ4. Like their previous releases, the album is a free download available for immediate consumption. The 11 songs deliver sharp words at a rapid-fire pace aimed directly at the events shaping this year. {Listen}

One example of the poignancy of the album comes from these prophetic words from Killer Mike on “Walking in the Snow”:

And every day on the evening news they feed you fear for free.
And you so numb you watch the cops choke out a man like me.
Until my voice goes from a shriek to whisper, ‘I can’t breathe.’

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