L.A. Crash Filmschool

e-learning with the Oscar award-winning movie Crash

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Making of a Multicultural Metropolis

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Task 1: Download and read the text "The Making of a Multicultural Metropolis."

This text is taken from the book "Ethnic Los Angeles," edited by Roger Waldinger and Mehdi Bozorghmer. The text starts in 1992 with the famous case of Rodney King who was brutally beaten up by the L.A. police. Although this incident was videotaped, the court discharged the police officers who were involved. This immediately led to a violent riot that included participants who were not only African Americans. Soon, they were joined by other minorities such as immigrants from Mexico and a large number of Koreans. The entire city was affected by these riots. Within days the picture that the Americans had of L.A.,being like a "Slice of white bread, a settlement of Protestant Midwesterners transplanted to an irrigated arcadia on the Pacific shores", broke down.

Task 2: Try to portray the development of ethnic diversity in Los Angeles. From which nations do the people who immigrated to L.A. in the past decades come?

Task 3: Is there ethnic diversity in your country too? List the nationalities that the immigrants in your country belong to.

Task 4: Draw two Venn diagrams* including the immigrant’s nationalities for both Los Angeles and your city. Are there any similarities?

Task 5: What was the main problem in Los Angeles in April 1992? Think of possibilities to prevent a riot or a rebellion of ethnic minorities.

Task 6: Do you think a riot like the one depicted in the text could occur in your own country?

* A Venn diagram helps you to visualize relations between two or more groups of things. Click here for an example.