`Don't Let Disappointment Dis You'

Truth be told, my pilgrimage to First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles was rooted in cynicism as well as curiosity. Sure, this church stood staunchly center stage in April, 1992, during the violence that erupted following the acquittal of the Los Angeles cops who pummeled motorist Rodney King. But since then, First A.M.E. had turned into a favorite media haunt. Senior Minister Cecil "Chip" Murray was being featured everywhere, it seemed, a newfound authority on L.A.'s racial malaise. What was behind his celebrity, and what made his congregation so special?

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