Rena Price, Catalyst For Watts Riots, Dead At 97
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

rena priceRena Price, the African-American woman credited as the catalyst of the deadly Watts riots in 1965, died last month in Los Angeles, the New York Times reported on Sunday. She was 97.

Price, whose son was arrested by Los Angeles police on suspicion of D.U.I., is said to have disrupted her son’s arrest and physically resisted her own apprehension. Punches were thrown. Police guns were drawn. Price and her son were arrested.

The encounter went on to incite an assembled crowd to riot. Six days of violence from the riots resulted in 34 people dead, more than 1,000 others wounded and property damage estimated at $100 million.

A state commission, created to find causes for the violence, cited the lack of jobs, inadequate schooling and resentment of the police. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who visited Los Angeles immediately after the Watts riots, blamed it on “general despair,” the Times reports.

Price lived in Los Angeles until her death on June 10.

Aaron Morrison

Aaron Morrison is an award-winning New York area-based multimedia journalist with a B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University. Aaron uses video, audio, photography, the web and social networks to tell captivating stories across all media platforms. Over the last year, Aaron has worked as a general assignment reporter for the Daily Record (Gannett) in northern New Jersey. Before that, he spent the spring of 2010 as the temporary legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press' statehouse bureau in Trenton, N.J. In his down time, Aaron enjoys the company of his friends and extended family. He is a fan of culinary arts and dreams of having a home kitchen so tricked out that Julia Child turns over in her grave.