25 Years After Racial Tensions Erupted, Black and Korean Communities Reflect on L.A. Riots

The Rev. Edgar Boyd, left, of First AME Church, joins hands with Hanmi Bank President and CEO C.G. Kum and KAFLA President Laura Jeon at a unity celebration at First AME Church's Allen House. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Jackie Broxton remembers the day the riots swept through her city, when the only way to get back to her car after church was to brave the flames and plumes of smoke that had engulfed the surrounding streets of South L.A.

She needed to get her daughter home to Ladera Heights, and for a moment she thought she would have to walk from the First African Methodist Episcopal Church down rubble-ridden West Adams Boulevard. Luckily, a fellow parishioner offered to drive her around the corner.

“You came out of church with a sense of hope, but you got outside and it was chaos,” she said.

Broxton, 69, was among about 100 others who gathered across the street from the church at the Allen House gardens Saturday afternoon to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1992 riots. City officials and members of the African American and Korean communities gathered at the home of the oldest black congregation in L.A. to promote a single message: unity.

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