Director Sophia Nahli Allison's Oscar-nominated documentary short, "A Love Song for Latasha," explores the hidden story behind the life of Latasha Harlins.
The 1992 headlines on Harlins' murder at the hands of a Los Angeles convenience store owner told the story of a Black 15-year-old's death and how it later served as a catalyst for the Los Angeles riots.
Allison's short, instead, reimagines Latasha's life through the lens of her cousin and best friend.
"This was a young girl with dreams, with aspirations, with a full life ahead of her. Latasha's story has really been dismissed, it's really been erased from this archive, and I wanted to rebirth these memories, rebirth this story of who she was," Allison said.
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"A Love Song for Latasha" is a celebration of a young girl with aspirations to become a lawyer, while also shedding light on the adultification of young Black girls, a problem that comes with severe -- and in Harlins' case fatal -- consquences, according to Allison.
"Throughout history, when people look at Black girls and people prescribe adult characteristics to them, people feel threatened by them. These are all things that really are the reason for what happened with Latasha Harlins," she said.
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