Faculty Bulletin Board

Historian Brenda Stevenson lauded for ‘bravery in journalism’

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Brenda Stevenson
UCLA

Brenda Stevenson, professor and Nickoll family endowed chair in UCLA's Department of History.

UCLA History Professor Brenda Stevenson, has received the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism from Womensenews.org. She was also named to 21 Leaders 2015: Seven Who Interrupt Legacy Narrative.

Stevenson is being lauded for her book, “The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender and the Origins of the Los Angeles Riots” (Oxford University Press, 2014), in which she reframes the narrative of the events that that set the stage for the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which were touched off by videotape of the brutal police assault on Rodney King as well as the videotaped murder of Harlins.

Womensenews.org said of her book: “Stevenson’s careful and nuanced examination of race, gender and class provides the family history of three women most deeply involved in a moment of violence in a small grocery store in Los Angeles: the teen victim, the shooter and the trial judge. Each one’s family left their homes to seek freedom and economic opportunity, one each from the U.S. South, from pre-war Europe and from South Korea.”

In an interview with Womensenews.org, Stevenson said, “The Harlins book looks at the history and systemic problems within the criminal justice system ... Not just police, but also juries, judges, prosecutors, all have problematic issues that often break along racial lines. Women are also players in this system and are invested in, as well as victimized by, that system. Black women are similarly victimized as black men, and that must be considered.”

Learn more in this Womensenews story.

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