PRINT May 2001

Sam Durant

Self-love and love of others are both modes toward increasing self-valuation and encouraging political resistance in one’s community. These modes of valuation and resistance are rooted in a subversive memory—the best of one’s past without romantic nostalgia . . .

—Cornel West, Nihilism in Black America

No culture can develop without a social basis, without a source of stable income.

—Clement Greenberg, “Avant-Garde and Kitsch”

R.M. SCHINDLER’S BETHLEHEM BAPTIST church in South Central LA was built in 1944. It replaced a previous structure that was destroyed by fire. Schindler’s only church, the building is all the more remarkable as the lone example of modernist architecture to cross LA’s economic and racial boundaries during the era of Jim Crow housing covenants.

The Bethlehem Baptist Church has not been restored. And like all built things, it’s disintegrating in slow motion.

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