It's been 25 years since the L.A. Riots, and KPCC is taking a look at what led up to the civil unrest and its aftermath. "All Things Considered" host Nick Roman spoke with Fernando Pullum, a high school teacher who founded the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center in Leimert Park.
In 1992, you were a music teacher at Washington Prep High in South L.A. Where were you the night the riots erupted? Take me back to that day.
During the five days of rioting, classes were cancelled. When school resumed, what did you take into the classroom?
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How did you do that?
What were those kids talking about during those days?
You continued to run Washington Prep's music program for many years after that. How did the program impact the lives of students in the community?
Now you run the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center in Leimert Park, which offers free performance arts lessons to students ages 5 to 20. What's it like to teach a new generation of students? To them the riots are now part of history books. They didn't live through this, but the impact of the civil uprising is still a part of their culture.