Ethnic Peace in the American City: Building Community in Los Angeles and Beyond

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The Los Angeles riot of 1992 marked America's first high-profile multiethnic civil unrest. Latinos, Asian Americans, whites, and African Americans were involved as both victims and assailants. Nearly half of the businesses destroyed were Korean American owned, and nearly half of the people arrested were Latino. In the aftermath of the unrest, Los Angeles, with its extremely diverse population, emerged as a particularly useful site in which to examine race relations. Ethnic Peace in the American City documents the nature of contemporary inter-ethnic relations in the United States by describing the economic, political, and psychological dynamics of race relations in inner-city Los Angeles. Drawing from local as well as international examples, the authors present strategies such as coalition building, dispute resolution, and community organizing. Moving beyond the stereotyped focus on negative interactions between minority groups such as Korean-owned businesses and the African American community, and countering the white-black or bi-racial paradigms of American race relations, the authors explore practical means by which ethnically fragmented neighborhoods nationwide can work together to begin to address their common concerns before tensions become explosive.