Roger Guenveur Smith in “Rodney King” (photo by Patti McGuire, courtesy of Hammer Museum)

This past Saturday, April 29, marked the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles Uprising, which resulted in the deaths of over 50 people, the destruction of some 1,000 buildings, and took an estimated economic toll of over $1 billion. The immediate trigger was the acquittal of four white LAPD officers in the beating of Rodney King, despite being captured on video. However, the root causes run much deeper, stemming from years of systemic disenfranchisement of the African-American community of South LA. In recognition of these events, their origins and their legacies, the Hammer Museum has organized a series of programs titled The LA Uprising: 25 Years Later.

The program kicks off on the evening of Tuesday, May 2, with a screening of Spike Lee’s latest film, Rodney King, which captures veteran actor Roger Guenveur Smith’s powerful one-man stage show, followed by a Q&A with Smith and a live DJ set by the film’s composer, Marc Anthony Thompson. The panel discussion To Protect and Serve on Wednesday, May 3, will examine police reforms in the two and a half decades since King’s beating, with civil rights attorney Connie Rice, New Mexico state police officer Anwar Sanders, and UCLA law professors Devon Carbado and Beth Colgan, Arif Alikhan, Director of the LAPD Office of Constitutional Policing and Policy, and Priscilla Ocen, Associate Professor of Law at Loyola Law School. On the evening of Thursday, May 4, the concluding event will be a screening of Do Not Resist, a recent film focusing on the militarization of police forces throughout the US, followed by a discussion with Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors.

All events are free and will also be live-streamed on the Hammer’s website.

When: Tuesday, May 2–Thursday, May 4
Where: Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles)

More info here.

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.