Shaw in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Ed Murphy Way
Lift Every Voice
—Georgia Ave./Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail —
Ed Murphy's Supper Club, that is, located across Georgia Avenue from 1963 to 1975. In the beginning suits and ties were mandatory for the club's highpowered male patrons. But as the Black Power movement grew, the dress code relaxed to include dashikis or turtlenecks for the civil rights and DC statehood activists who gathered there.
In 1978 Murphy built the ambitious Harambee House Hotel, and reopened the supper club on its second floor. “Harambee House came into my father's spirit during the height of the 1968 riots,” recalled Murphy's son Keith. “We had to do a nationwide search for upper-level [hotel] managers because there were so few black people in the business.” When it opened, Harambee House was one of the first-class hotels built, owned, and operated by an African American in U.S. history. With African decor and high-end amenities, the hotel attracted guests such as Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan. Stevie Wonder, Nancy Wilson, and other top entertainers performed in the supper club. The downstairs Kilimanjaro Room hosted press conferences by
Beginning in the early 1900s, the blocks on this side of Georgia Avenue were filled with industrial activities: junk yards, plumbing shops, and bakeries. During the streetcar-era (1862-1962), youngsters entertained themselves watching “the pit,” the point in the route where southbound streetcars switched from overhead electric wires to an underground power source (and vice versa for northbound trains). Congress had banned the use of overhead wires south of Florida Avenue.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 7.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Avenue / Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 55.193′ N, 77° 1.32′ W. Marker is in Shaw, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Georgia Avenue Northwest (U.S. 29) and Bryant Street Northwest when traveling south on Georgia Avenue Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20059, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cleaning Up Cowtown (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Will Marion Cook Family Residence Site Freedmen's Hospital (about 600 feet away); Tau Beta Pi (about 700 feet away); Andrew F. Hilyer Residence Site (about 700 feet away); Medical Care for All (about 800 feet away); Sara Winifred Brown, M.D. (approx. 0.2 miles away); Phi Beta Sigma (approx. 0.2 miles away).
Also see . . . An Act. To symbolically designate the northwest corner of Barry Place, N.W., at Georgia Avenue, N.W., as "Ed Murphy Way, N.W." (PDF) (Submitted on July 4, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
1. My group Theatre West Performed
My group Theatre West directed by Clarence young lll, was in residence in DC from November 1973 until June 1978. In 1974 and 1975 we performed at Stevie Wonders birthday party at the supper hosted by Mr Murphy following Mr Wonders performance at The Human Kindness Day Program. My group Theatre West, The Group Brute, Gil Scott Herron,Roberta Flack and Stevie Wonder performed. But, at that time I don't recall the Harambee House Hotel being built
Categories. • African Americans • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on March 20, 2019. This page originally submitted on July 4, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 411 times since then and 27 times this year. Last updated on March 7, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. submitted on July 4, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.