‘Why, after all these years, did I not know [Latasha’s] name?’ asked Huffington Post contributor Ayofemi Kirby earlier this year. ‘Why, although I prefer not to see the video again, was this footage, her name and the systemic injustice that took her life not as notorious as Rodney King’s?’
Stevenson’s answer to this was simple. ‘When we as a community as a people critique the criminal justice system, we principally focus on males,’ she said. ‘Men’s stories are always more important.’
Brenda Stevenson on the importance of the new film 12 Years a Slave
October 18, 2013
Brenda E. Stevenson, writer of wrongs
July 31, 2013
“Historian Brenda E. Stevenson (pictured in her UCLA office, with an African sculpture) mostly writes about the long-gone — 18th and 19th century African Americans, and the lives of enslaved women. Then came the case that made history while L.A. watched: Korean-born shopkeeper Soon Ja Du killed black teenager Latasha Harlins over a bottle of orange juice. A jury convicted Du of voluntary manslaughter, but she was sentenced only to probation and community service.
Stevenson's new book, The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins, analyzes the other ‘no justice, no peace’ case that echoes through the 1992 riots and into the present day.”