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Ryan Reft

KCETII

Ryan Reft is a historian of 20th and 21st-century American history at the Library of Congress. His work has appeared in several journals, including Souls, The Sixties, California History, Planning Perspectives, Southern California Quarterly, and the Journal of Urban History, as well as in the anthology "Barack Obama and African American Empowerment: The Rise of Black America's New Leadership" and "Asian American Sporting Cultures." The opinions expressed by Reft are solely his and not those of the Library of Congress. He can be reached on twitter at @ryanreft.

KCETII
"Understanding the Riots," a Los Angeles Times publication containing photographs, testimonies, and descriptions of events before, during, and after the Rodney King riots, cover, 1992. | Los Angeles Webster Commission records, 1931-1992, USC Libraries
Article
Lost LA

Policing a Global City: Multiculturalism, Immigration and the 1992 Uprising

The 1992 Los Angeles Uprising was the nation’s first multiethnic urban riot, one that points to the complexities of policing in a city of different racial and ethnic groups.
Los Angeles, CA: A convoy of trucks rolls into the Watts district loaded with National Guardsmen ordered in to the area to quell Watts Uprising. | Getty Images
Article
Lost LA

A Tale of Two Commissions: Watts, Rodney King and the Politics of Policing

The Watts Uprising and the 1992 L.A. Rebellion were both fiery chapters in L.A.’s history. Many are asking, “how could history have repeated itself?” To answer that question, we delve into the events that conspired to create more conservative reforms.
B47
Article
Lost LA

The Future Fulfilled? Modernism's Effect on the California We Know Today

In the early post-1945 period, California served as the emblem of the American dream, the ideal of modernity and purveyor of modernism, which it broadcast to the nation and larger world. Did it manage to live up to its promise?
Eighth Machine Gun Cavalry in action on the Mexican border. | Library of Congress
Article
Voces On PBS

The Legacy of the Texas Rangers: A Look at the Long History of Violence at the Border

The influence of the Texas Rangers on border militarizaton stretches from its creation in the 19th century, through the inception of Border Patrol and ties to the NRA, to the Minutemen movement that rose to prominence in the early 21st century.
Ocean Park Beach in Santa Monica crowded with bathers, ca.1910 | USC Digital Library; From the California Historical Society Collection at the University of Southern California
Article
Lost LA

California Dreaming: Booms and Busts of the Golden State

California history, much like that of America’s, rests on the noblest of deeds, the most nefarious of acts and a sea of grey in between, all driven by the very dreams that fuel boom and bust cycles.
1939 HOLC "redlining" map of central Los Angeles
Article
Lost LA

Segregation in the City of Angels: A 1939 Map of Housing Inequality in L.A.

Endorsed by New Deal-era federal housing policy, "redlining" encouraged housing inequality in U.S. cities.
For rent sign for an unfurnished house reads: "Absolutely no Spanish or Mexicans. No children. No pets. One or two adults only. Phone Atlantic 2-9052." | Los Angeles Public Library
Article
City Rising

How Prop 14 Shaped California's Racial Covenants

Fifty years ago, the United States Supreme Court upheld the California Supreme Court decision to overturn the controversial Prop 14 referendum.
A foreclosure sign in Salton City, CA. 2008. | Jeroen Elfferich/Flickr/Creative Commons
Article
City Rising

The Foreclosure Crisis and Its Impact on Today's Housing Market

Nearly a decade later, public policy professionals and academics have worked to unravel the complex factors that led to the 2008 housing crisis and why minorities and women proved particularly vulnerable.
Reitman v. Mulkey
Article
Lost LA

How One O.C. Woman Took Her Fight For Fair Housing All The Way to the Supreme Court – And Won

Reitman v. Mulkey, decided in 1967, was an important legal victory against discriminatory housing policies. The case originated in Orange County, California.
"A Woman Worker" poster (cropped)
Article
Lost LA

Before Rosie the Riveter: L.A. Women and the First World War

During the First World War, L.A. women laid the foundation for the Rosie the Riveter feminism that followed decades later.
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