Explore Black History in Washington DC this February
While most of the streets and buildings around us are named after our white Founding Fathers, adorned with white marble monuments, Washington DC is very much a black city with a rich black history. You don’t have to walk far or look too hard to find a spot within our own neighborhood that has a connection to the one of America’s black leaders. You can start right down the street at the National Mall.
The National Mall has been the site of vital African American history, including the March on Washington led by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963 and the first Million Man March in 1995. You can stand in the very the spot where King delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech, as the spot is now etched onto the Lincoln Memorial steps. And this is all just a ten minute walk from your apartment!
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Like most museums across the city, The National Museum of African American History and Culture is currently closed to visitors. However, the museum is hosting a line-up of fascinating virtual programs throughout February in honor of Black History Month.
The offerings begin with a book discussion on ‘Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019’, and will be followed by programming on prison reform, research and social justice, in addition to a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon and kid-focused activities every Friday throughout Black History Month.
Head uptown to the Shaw neighborhood, a historic black community where the sidewalks are literally paved with history. Once the destination for escaped slaves from the South in the 19th century, this historical neighborhood is now the site of businesses, theaters and historic rowhouses. Prominent former residents include famous African Americans like jazz legend Duke Ellington, whose statue resides in front of the historic Howard Theatre.