I have a lot of things to process after this trip, one being the neighborhood I stayed in - Shaw. This is a neighborhood of change and gentrification, I sensed extremes the day I got here. The building I'm staying in is the whole "luxury apartments" deal with rooftop pool yadda yadda. Within a block or two there's a food shelter and public housing complexes. Historical context from Wikipedia to the rescue: "Shaw emerged from freed slave encampments in the rural outskirts of Washington, D.C... The neighborhood thrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as the pre-Harlem center of African American intellectual and cultural life. During this time, President Andrew Johnson signed Howard University’s founding charter... Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968, riots erupted in many D.C. neighborhoods, including Shaw... The 1968 Washington, D.C. riots marked the beginning of a decline in population and development that condemned much of the inner city to a generation of economic decay... Succeeding the riots, Shaw civic leaders Walter Fauntroy and Watha T. Daniel led grassroots community renewal projects with the Model Inner City Community Organization (MICCO). MICCO used federal grant money to employ African American architects, engineers, and urban planners in inner-city Washington D.C.
Shaw is a residential neighborhood dominated by 19th century Victorian row houses. The architecture of these houses, Shaw's central location, and the stability of D.C.'s housing market have transformed the neighborhood through gentrification. Preservation advocates in the Dupont Circle neighborhood began to propose the expansion of the neighborhood. The advocates were members of the Dupont Circle Conservancy, an organization predominantly led by European-American people. As a response to this proposal, the 14th and U Street Coalition, which called itself the representative of black interests and historical identity in neighboring Shaw, began protesting that the Dupont Circle preservationists were trying to occupy their neighborhood and its history." #history #gentrification #washingtondc #shawhoward