Part 1: An Immigrant’s Introduction to American Black Culture

-You can never walk in another person’s shoes- 

Part one of four parts – Arrival in the USA

April 1992, I moved from Canada to Los Angeles, landing in LAX during the week of the Rodney King Riot. 

Welcome to America. 

Welcome to America. LA Times: Looting and Fires Ravage LA

Afraid, I stayed up all night glued to the television. The police had warned the public they might not respond to our calls of help because  they were, “preoccupied”. The sky was dark with smoke. There was anger, vandalism, arson. 

To better understand the etiology of all this, I read the book Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley. 

Another Jolt.

I did not know about the horrible injustices described in the book. But I empathized with the anger.

My first impression as an unbiased observer:  Blacks deserve reparation. They need to get some compensation for the hard and difficult work their ancestors did as slaves.

Robbing them of generational wealth. While white society benefited. Leaving many Blacks to struggle in poverty. Unsurmountable barriers against them when they try to move forward.

The Karma of landing in Los Angels that April forced me to pay attention to racial discrimination in America. It was shocked into my consciousness.

This was the start of my journey. What could I do to help solve this inequity?  Still after all these years, as much as I thought I knew, I really know very little. 

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