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Najee Ali watched the first flares of unrest in South Central Los Angeles from home, heeding his better instincts to stay out of trouble after four police officers were cleared in the beating of Rodney King.

He changed his mind when a group of black men pounded a white trucker unconscious live on TV.

Ali felt sorry for the victim, but he also felt moved by the countless other beatings, killings and daily injustices heaped upon the black community. He got in his car and drove into the heart of the fury, ready to smash and burn anything that represented society’s boots on the necks of African-Americans.

He saw rage and sadness in neighbors’ faces, gang members pooled in the streets, women banging pots and pans, and cops looking frightened.

“If you were non-black on that day, there was no compassion for anybody except for black people,” Ali recalled.

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Najee Ali poses for a portrait“We still have a lot of voices in South Central L.A. that are not being heard,” said Najee Ali. Michael Rubenstein / NBC News

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Click link below for article:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ballad-south-l-race-rebellion-rebirth-n751471

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