“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Shaw in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Howard University Sets the Standard

City Within a City


—Greater U Street Heritage Trail —

"Howard University Sets the Standard" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 26, 2008
1. "Howard University Sets the Standard" Marker
To the north and east of the U Street corridor rises the tower of Founders Library at Howard University - an institution created in 1867 that has trained and inspired generations of African American leaders and has been a lodestar for its own community.

The highest value was placed on educational achievement in this historic neighborhood. Divisions 10 through 13 of the DC Public Schools, the “colored schools” as they were known in pre-1954 segregated segregated Washington, were considered the best in the nation. Teachers were looked up to as community leaders, mentors, and role models.

The former Grimke Elementary School, the Colonial Revival structure just south of U Street on Vermont Avenue, was part of this system. It was named for Achibald Grimke, born to a [Black] slave mother and a [free] white father, who became a prominent Washington lawyer and civil rights leader. Garnet-Patterson Junior High School, still a center of community activity, is located today on Vermont Avenue between U and V Streets. All of the city’s high schools for African Americans were located in this vicinity.

Among the achievers in this community was Lillian Evans Tibbs, known professionally as Madame Evanti –the first internationally known African American opera singer. She lived in the house at 1910
"Howard University Sets the Standard" Marker - photo on reverse image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 26, 2008
2. "Howard University Sets the Standard" Marker - photo on reverse
Howard University professors pose in front of Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, built in 1895, on the Howard University campus.
Vermont Avenue. The grand space at Tenth and U Streets was a gathering place for the community with Sunday concerts held in a bandstand where the African American Civil War Memorial is now located.

This sign is dedicated to the late Princess M. Bowman, a professional harpist who created the first African American trail from Howard University through this neighborhood in the 1980s.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 5 of 14.)
Location. 38° 54.938′ N, 77° 1.556′ W. Marker is in Shaw, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of T Street, NW and Vermont Avenue, NW, on the left when traveling east on T Street, NW. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. African American Civil War Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Frelinghuysen University/Jesse Lawson and Rosetta C. Lawson (about 400 feet away); Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia (about 500 feet away); Civil War Camp to Victorian Neighborhood (about 500 feet away); Washington Conservatory of Music and School of Expression (about 500 feet away); We had everything we needed right here (about 600 feet away); Washington Afro-American Newspaper Office Building (about 600 feet away); A Home Away From Home (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Shaw.
More about this marker.
[Caption, top photo]:
Founders Library at Howard University.

[Caption, center top portrait]:
Archibald Grimke.

[Caption, upper right photo]:
Students at Armstrong Technical High School, 1940s, once located at 1st and O Streets, NW.

[Caption, class photo across center]:
Dunbar graduating class of 1927 photographed by Addison Scurlock on the campus of Howard University.

[Caption, lower left photo]:
The marching band of Cardozo High School at 13th and Clifton Streets in the 1970s.

[Caption, lower center photo]:
Opera singer Lillian Evans Tibbs, professionally known as Madame Evanti.

[Caption, lower right photo]:
Grimke Elementary School classroom, in the 1940s.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Also see . . .  Greater U Street Heritage Trail markers that have been entered in the Historical Marker database. (Submitted on March 25, 2009.)
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEducationNotable Persons
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,214 times since then and 23 times this year. Last updated on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   2. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A photo of the marker and the surrounding area in context. • Can you help?
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