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

“Treat Me Refined”

Lift Every Voice

 

—Georgia Ave./Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail —

 
"Treat Me Refined" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
1. "Treat Me Refined" Marker
Inscription. The House at 3017 Sherman Avenue once was a boardinghouse for Howard University students. In 1923 a determined and talented young woman from the tiny town of Eatonville, Florida, lived here while earning an Associates Degree at Howard. In a short time she would win international acclaim as novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston.

Hungry for culture, Hurston devoured Howard's opportunities. She performed in campus theater, played violin, joined Zeta Phi Bet sorority, and co-founded the student newspaper, which she named The Hill Top. She published her first story in The Stylus, Howard's literary magazine. She attended renowned poet Georgia Douglas Johnson's literary salon, meeting the best-known black writers of the time. To support herself, Hurston waited tables at the exclusive, all-white Cosmos Club and cleaned houses. New York's black literary leaders discovered Hurston, who soon left for Harlem. There she helped spur the New Negro Renaissance, a period of intense cultural productivity and racial uplift. She went on to study ethnography under Franz Boaz at Columbia University and later collected folklore, returning occasionally to DC for professional meetings. In 1943 Howard honored her with a distinguished alumna award.

"What do you think I was doing in Washington all that time if not getting cultured..
"Treat Me Refined" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
2. "Treat Me Refined" Marker
In Front of the Stop & Go Market
Treat me refined"
-- Zora Neale Hurston to Langston Hughes, 1931.

As you turn right on Kenyon Street ahead, you will pass Chavez-Bruce Preparatory Public Charter School. Built as the Blanche K. Bruce Elementary School, it opened for "colored" students in 1898. Monroe Elementary, at Georgia and Columbia, served white children from 1889 until 1931.Four decades later Bruce and Monroe merged in a new Building at Georgia and Irving.
 
Location. 38° 55.676′ N, 77° 1.558′ W. Marker is in Pleasant Plains, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Sherman Avenue and Columbia Road, on the right when traveling north on Sherman Avenue. Click for map. The marker is in front of the Stop & Go market at 3005 Sherman Ave NW‎ Washington, DC 20001 on the corner of Sherman Ave and Columbia Road. Park View. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3005 Sherman Avenue, Washington DC 20001, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Urban Oasis (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Girard Street Elites (approx. 0.2 miles away); Nob Hill (approx. 0.2 miles away); From Beer Garden to Park View (approx. 0.2 miles away but has been reported missing); Along the "Nile Valley"
Zora Neale Hurston image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
3. Zora Neale Hurston
Zora Neale Hurston, while a student at Howard University, at an unidentified location, 1920.
Close-up of photo on marker
Zora Neale Hurston Collection, University of Florida
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Charles R. Drew and Lenore Robbins Drew (approx. ¼ mile away); Merriweather Home for Children (approx. 0.3 miles away); Beyond the Basics (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Pleasant Plains.
 
Additional keywords. Literature
 
Categories. African AmericansAnthropologyEducation
 
The Stylus, May 1921 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
4. The Stylus, May 1921
This issue of the Stylus contained Hurston's first published story.
Close-up of photo on marker
Alain Locke Collection
John Redding Goes To Sea image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
5. John Redding Goes To Sea
The first page of Hurston's first story.
Close up of photo on marker
Alain Locke Collection
Hurston's Sun to Sun Singers image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
6. Hurston's Sun to Sun Singers
At the 1938 National Folk Festival in Washington, this group performed southern folk songs collected by Hurston.
Close-up of photo on marker
Scurlock Studio
Map -- You Are Here image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
7. Map -- You Are Here
Close-up of map on marker
3017 Sherman Avenue image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
8. 3017 Sherman Avenue
Flemish Bond image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
9. Flemish Bond
The brick walls of 3017 Sherman are laid in Flemish bond with glazed headers.
The Fire Wreck, 1921 image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
10. The Fire Wreck, 1921
The corner of Sherman and Columbia was the site of this crash involving DC firemen in 1921. The crowd at the left of this photo are standing where the "Treat Me Refined" marker is now located.
Inside the Stop & Go image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
11. Inside the Stop & Go
The "Fire Wreck" photo appearing on a wall inside the "Stop & Go" market reminds us that this building was the neighborhood corner store in 1920's as it is today.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 775 times since then and 9 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on September 11, 2016.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A clear, close up photo of the marker. • Can you help?
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