Harlins, Latasha Lavon
- Brenda E. Stevenson
slain teenager whose murder at the hands of a Korean shopkeeper was a significant spark for the Los Angeles riots of 1992 and directly linked to the burning of that city's Koreatown, was born in East St. Louis, Illinois, the eldest daughter of Crystal Harlins, a waitress and part-time real estate agent. Latasha Harlins moved with her mother, two siblings, and stepfather, Vester Acoff, to South Central Los Angeles in 1982, joining her maternal grandmother, Ruth Harlins, and other relatives. The family's latest move was, for them, a continuation of the then century-old great black migration from the South to places north and west in the quest to escape the racialized violence of the South and in search for better jobs, education, and political opportunities. Ruth Harlins was born in Alabama, but migrated with her mother to East St. Louis in 1949 Life was somewhat better there but ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.