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Watts Riots 50th Anniversary Online Hub Launches on kcet.org/Watts

Support Provided By


Rachel Coulson

KCETLink Communications Department

(747) 201 - 5707 / rcoulson@kcet.org

Watts Riots 50th Anniversary Digital Showcase kcet.org/WattsFeatures Stories and Videos From the Historic Uprising and Related Events

Online Destination "Watts in Perspective" Launches Today Examining Rebellion's Impact on History, Social Issues, The Environment and The Arts

BURBANK, Calif. - Aug. 11, 2015 - KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station,remembers the 50th anniversary of the Watts Riots by launching an online collection of new and archival content exploring the many effects of the Watts Riots and subsequent periods of civil unrest  atkcet.org/Watts. The digital hub explores past and present implications of cultural changes and a complete retrospective on the history of racial tensions in various Los Angeles communities that include Compton and the South Los Angeles area, formerly known as South Central Los Angeles.  

In addition to the stories that are summarized below that are now live on the website, kcet.org/Wattswill host additional content throughout the month of August, including a history of California State University Dominguez Hills: a university born in response to the Watts Riots; the historical significance of restaurants as civic centers, and an interview with Dale Brockman Davis, founder of South L.A.'s famed Brockman Gallery, discussing the cultural landscape of Los Angeles before and after the uprising, expanding on how the art galleries and instructions evolved to become more inclusive to African American artists. 

The events of 1965 still resonate strongly today, contributing to a complex legacy of struggle, courage, and activism in the African American community. "Watts in Perspective" explores the legacy of Watts and South L.A. through the lens of history, art, culture, and identity. 

"Watts in Perspective" Highlights Include:

August 1965 - Riots Break Out in Watts

An overview timeline of the August 11, 1965 drunk driving arrest that led to an uprising involving local residents and law enforcement, eventually erupting into six days of rioting in the streets of the Los Angeles community of Watts.

Every Ten Feet was a Soldier: Jazz and the Watts Rebellion

For many musicians who witnessed the 1965 riots, the burning neighborhood revealed the racial discord and divisions within the city, inspiring a new era of music. Jazz musicians Leon "Ndugu" ChanclerMichael Session, and Rufus Olivier reflect on the day the uprising began.

Riots and Rebellions: Los Angeles Police Reform Time Line 1965-2012

Civil rights attorney Robert Garcia offers a first-person timeline of his involvement in key events leading up to and in the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots following the acquittal of police officers on trial regarding a videotaped and widely covered police brutality incident, the beating of Rodney King.

The Watts Riots: School Photos Before and After

A writer's reflection on how yearbooks and school photos represent a changing ratio of black to white children in the community before and after the uprising. 

The Art and Science of Preserving the Watts Towers (video)

Due to its unconventional construction, new scientific methods are being used to repair and stabilize theWatts Towers.

Burning Down The House: Cultural Activism Bases in South L.A.

Cultural activism blossomed after the uprising which has resulted in a community where art and radical politics collide.

KCET offers additional social media engagement on Facebook.com/KCET28 and @KCET on Twitterand Instagram using the hashtag #Watts50


On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 50-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. KCET is a part of the KCETLink Media Group.

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