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Bloomingdale in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Court Nullifies Racial Covenants

Worthy Ambition

 

—LeDroit Park/Bloomingdale Heritage Trail —

 
Court Nullifies Racial Covenants Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 23, 2017
1. Court Nullifies Racial Covenants Marker
Inscription. In the 1940s, homeowners in the 100 block of Bryant Street breached a contract when they sold their houses to African Americans. Covenants, or agreements, in their real estate deeds prohibited "the sale of the house to anyone of the Negro race" or other specific groups. Although Washingtonians selling houses ignored these covenants when it suited them, a group of white homeowners at this end of the block didn't want African Americans moving in. Led by Frederic and Lena Hodge of 136 Bryant Street, they filed a lawsuit to reverse the sale of 116 Bryant to James and Mary Hurd, an African American couple.

The District Court sided with Hodge and his neighbors. But Howard University Law School Professor Charles Hamilton Houston appealed -- all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1948 Hurd v. Hodge was among a group of cases that outlawed the enforcement of racial covenants everywhere. The Hurds remained on Bryant Street.

McMillan Reservoir is just up the hill along First Street. Alberta Addison, who grew up at 225 V Street in the 1910s and 20s, remembers strolling beside its waters and rolling Easter eggs in its park. Neighbors would picnic and listen to band concerts there, treating its Olmstead-designed landscape as an extension of Howard's peaceful, green campus. During World War II, the reservoir was fenced
Court Nullifies Racial Covenants Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 23, 2017
2. Court Nullifies Racial Covenants Marker
off as a security measure.

In 1987 the DC government purchased the sand filtration plant and parkland east of First Street from the federal government and planned to have it developed. In 2013 the reservoir and filtration site were listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Erected 2015 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 9.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the LeDroit Park/Bloomingdale Heritage Trail marker series.
 
Location. 38° 55.272′ N, 77° 0.781′ W. Marker is in Bloomingdale, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Bryant Street Northwest west of 1st Street Northwest, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 116 Bryant Street Northwest, Washington DC 20001, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Water for the City (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bloomingdale (approx. ¼ mile away); Separate Schools (approx. ¼ mile away); Kelly Miller Residence Site (approx. 0.3 miles away); Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (approx. 0.3 miles away); Government Girls
Court Nullifies Racial Covenants Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 23, 2017
3. Court Nullifies Racial Covenants Marker
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Medical Care for All (approx. 0.3 miles away); Christian Fleetwood and Sara Fleetwood Residence Site (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bloomingdale.
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsIndustry & Commerce
 
Court Nullifies Racial Covenants Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 23, 2017
4. Court Nullifies Racial Covenants Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 23, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 88 times since then and 6 times this year. Last updated on February 17, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 23, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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