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Trouble Every Day: LA 1965/1992 (photo by Brian Forrest)

The social upheavals that took place in Watts in 1965 and South Los Angeles in 1992 were more than simply historical events — they were profound experiences for the African-American communities that lived through them. Music in particular was a crucial part of these experiences, from songs of outrage heard on the radio, to concerts like 1972’s WattStax, dubbed the “black Woodstock.” Musicians like the Watts Prophets and Horace Tapscott and the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, and later Tupac and Ice Cube, broadcasted messages of protest and pride not only to their own communities, but to the rest of the nation, tuning them into what was was going on in LA.

To explore the role that music played in expressing anger and frustration towards civil rights abuses — as well as voicing the need for unity and revitalization — the California African American Museum is hosting a listening party organized by University of Southern California professor of communications and 2016 MacArthur fellow Josh Kun. In between tracks by Sam Cooke, Wadada Leo Smith, Flying Lotus, and Marvin Gaye, as well as bits of period speeches and news footage, Kun will lead a discussion on how listening shapes our experience and memory of turmoil and rebuilding. The listening party is part of Trouble Every Day: LA 1965/1992, an exhibition set in a recreated early ’90s living room, which examines how media informs our understanding of these pivotal events. The event is free, but RSVP is requested.

When: Tuesday, August 8, 7–9pm
Where: California African American Museum (600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles)

More info here.

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Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he is a frequent contributor to Daily Serving, and Glasstire.