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50 years after Watts riots, not enough has changed

50 years after Watts riots, not enough has changed

The small city of Watts offered African American workers an island of relatively affordable housing, unrestricted by racial covenants, in the early decades of the 20th century. But its wells ran dry, and Los Angeles — which was piping in abundant water via the Owens Aqueduct and already stretching southward to connect with the inner harbor at Wilmington and the newer harbor at San Pedro — absorbed Watts in 1926. The formerly independent municipality sticks out on a map, an irregular square tethered to east-central L.A., surrounded on three sides by Lynwood, South Gate and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Rumors persist that race, as much as water, led to the...

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