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

Riots to Renaissance

City Within a City

 

—Greater U Street Heritage Trail —

 
Riots to Renaissance Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, February 7, 2018
1. Riots to Renaissance Marker
Inscription.  The corner of 14th and U Streets has been a city crossroads, a neighborhood gathering place, and a stage set for events that have shaken the city and the nation.

For city residents, it was the transfer place for crosstown streetcars and buses. For the African American community, it was the heart of a business and professional downtown.

It has also been the fault line in the struggle for equal rights for black Americans in the 20th century. Some of the nation's first picket lines walked this corner in the 1930s when the New Negro Alliance protested discrimination in hiring by local businesses. Among the protesters was Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of the National Council of Negro Women, educator, and advisor to four U.S. presidents. The 1938 United States Supreme Court decision that followed affirmed the constitutional rights that supported the sit-ins of the modern civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

In April 1968, this corner was the flashpoint for the riots that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The violent protest destroyed businesses along 14th Street, 7th Street, and in
Riots to Renaissance Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, February 7, 2018
2. Riots to Renaissance Marker
other parts of the city. In 1986, the Frank G. Reeves Municipal Center rose where the riots had begun, and became both a symbol and a sparkplug for a neighborhood renaissance. New restaurants, shops, and nightclubs, a new subway stop, and the restoration of historic buildings followed, and U Street is once again becoming a lively urban community.
 
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 14.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Greater U Street Heritage Trail marker series.
 
Location. 38° 55.032′ N, 77° 1.94′ W. Marker is in U Street Corridor, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of U Street Northwest and 14th Street Northwest, on the right when traveling west on U Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2000 14th Street Northwest, Washington DC 20009, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Black Broadway (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); "Wade in the Water" (about 300 feet away); "Joshua Fit De Battle Of Jericho" (about 300 feet away); "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child" (about 300 feet away); "No More Auction Block For Me" (about 400 feet away); "Old Man River"
Close-up view of text from marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, February 7, 2018
3. Close-up view of text from marker
(about 400 feet away); "Stand By Me" (about 400 feet away); "Othello" (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in U Street Corridor.
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsDisastersIndustry & Commerce
 
Riots to Renaissance Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, February 7, 2018
4. Riots to Renaissance Marker
 
More. Search the internet for Riots to Renaissance.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 23, 2019. This page originally submitted on February 8, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 79 times since then and 11 times this year. Last updated on March 7, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 8, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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