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Sabato Rodia's Towers in WattsArt, Migrations, Development$
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Luisa Del Giudice

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823257966

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823257966.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 19 June 2021

Nuestro Pueblo:

Nuestro Pueblo:

The Spatial and Cultural Politics of Los Angeles’s Watts Towers

(p.251) Nuestro Pueblo:
Sabato Rodia's Towers in Watts

Sarah Schrank

Fordham University Press

The structures best known as the Watts Towers were known to Sabatino Rodia as “Nuestro Pueblo,” a provocative take on Los Angeles' original name, “El Pueblo de Nuestra Se ñora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciúncula.” By inscribing his Towers in Spanish, Rodia honored his Mexican neighbors, the pre-American history of Los Angeles, and claimed the Towers and the city for others than he alone. This chapter shows how Nuestro Pueblo acted as a galvanizing force for a politics grounded in cultural identity and loud claims to social equity. Nuestro Pueblo's towers have been both generative of community and symbols of community in political fights over funding and territory. Nuestro Pueblo also represents the penultimate modern city as it embodies premodern labor while holding the multitudinous meanings, multilingual names, and commercial promises of the postmodern world city.

Keywords:   Sabatino Rodia, Watts Towers, Los Angeles, cultural identity, community economic development, Nuestro Pueblo, social equity

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