Slow Burn: The L.A. Riots

Season 6: Bonus Episode 2
Content Locked for Slate Plus members

“The Fuse Was Already Burning”

More on the cultural tensions building in Los Angeles by the time Latasha Harlins was killed in 1991.

Episode Notes

In this member-exclusive episode, Slow Burn’s host Joel Anderson and producer Jayson De Leon discuss Episode 2, on Latasha Harlins’ killing. Then we’ll hear extended interviews with L.A. Times journalist Itabari Njeri and professor of ethnic studies Edward Chang about the cultural tensions that were already building in Los Angeles by the time of Harlins’ death in 1991.

Mentioned in this episode:
A Love Song for Latasha (2019)
The Last Plantation by Itabari Njeri
Slow Burn 6’s Spotify playlist

Production by Sophie Summergrad and Chau Tu.

About the Show

In 1992, a jury failed to convict the four Los Angeles police officers who’d been captured on videotape beating Rodney King. The city erupted into fire and chaos—the culmination of decades of unchecked police abuse and racial injustice.

For the sixth season of Slate’s Slow Burn, Joel Anderson returns to explore the people and events behind the biggest civil disturbance in American history—a story that’s still playing out today.

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  • Chau Tu is a former editor of Slate Plus.