Erin Aubry Kaplan is journalist, essayist, and poet who writes about politics, culture, and identity with an eye to L.A.'s black communities. She has been a staff writer for the L.A. Weekly and opinion columnist for the L.A. Times. She was born in South Central and lives with her husband and animals in Inglewood.
Ferguson has taken us back to necessary, if overly familiar, discussions about relations between black people and police. But the real profiling happens within the black community itself -- including communities in L.A.
After months of intense campaigning, George McKenna's faithful gathered last week to celebrate -- hopefully -- a historic win against a better-funded opponent, Alex Johnson. The spirit of New Orleans insured that whatever the outcome, a good time would be had by all.
The 54-year-old former drug lord of South Central is still in the business -- of self-fulfillment and community improvement, that is. These days he deplores the crack trade, but not the ambition that got him into it in the first place.
As a kid, I was a serial non-smiler, considered a serious defect for a girl. That was oppressive, but I also sensed that for black women, smiling was never just about giving men something pretty to look at.
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