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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
L.A. Riots: 20 Years Later

Father and Son Host Photography Exhibit

A photography exhibit documenting the L.A. riots was presented Sunday at the Take My Picture gallery.

David Leonard was only 14 years old when he heard the verdict on the Rodney King case. He said his father picked him up from school to take him to Parker's Center to witness and photograph history.

"We were not sightseeing. It was a decision to not hunker down in our house but to actually see and witness and experience what was going on on the streets," Leonard said.

In the midst of everything, Leonard said that it felt like the fabric of what he thought was reality had broken down, and that it's difficult to explain what that was like in the moment.

"How did it feel? I don't think there's a way to put it into words, and that's why we took pictures," Leonard said.

Elizabeth Reyes didn't live in L.A. and experience the riots first hand, but she said she came to the exhibit anyway because she was interested in the event. "It's part of our history, a black side of history, but still, nevertheless..." she said, trailing off.

Twenty years later, Leonard said that people can learn from the event, especially how fragile society and authority can be. 

"Things shift very quickly when people are just trying to stay alive," Leonard said.

Reyes believes that things have changed since the riots. "There's a little bit more unity, but still, a long way to go," she said.


Residents Remember L.A. Riots

L.A. Riots Remembered Across the City

L.A. Riots: Reporter Relives Experience

Neon Tommy: Two Photographers Remember Covering the Unrest

Intersections: Photos of the Aftermath

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