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“Soul and T-Square”
An Architectural Articulation of Reparations for Watts
Rebecca Choi
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By reconsidering the Watts Urban Workshop’s architectural proposals for funding from President Johnson’s Model Cities Program, an outbranch of his 1964 War on Poverty, this microhistory outlines feasible architectural visions of reparations in 1970s Watts, Los Angeles. While most histories of the War on Poverty consider Johnson’s concept of “maximum feasible participation” as a driving force of self-help programming for poor communities as more of a gesture than a call, a consideration of the Workshop’s goals to teach self-determination and community participation shows how Black practitioners were thinking about reparative futures in ways that simply have not been registered by architecture, urban planning, or history.

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