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

Armed Resistance

“Lift Every Voice”

 

óGeorgia Ave./Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail ó

 
Armed Resistance Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 27, 2011
1. Armed Resistance Marker
Inscription.
Shortly before midnight on July 22, 1919, James Scott, a black army veteran, boarded a streetcar at the corner and nearly lost his life.

A few days before, a white mob, including many veterans of World War I, had terrorized Southwest DC, randomly attacking black people in retaliation for an alleged assault on a white woman. Spurred by rumors and newspaper headlines, attackers targeted other Black neighborhoods. But Scott didn't know this. Boarding the streetcar here, he was stunned to hear white passengers yell, “Lynch him!” As he attempted to flee, the conductor shot at him three times.

That summer race relations were tense nationwide, with rioting in many cities. In Washington black men who had fought bravely overseas came home to a city more segregated than the one they had left. President Woodrow Wilsonís administration had established separate facilities for black federal employees. Unemployment was high. African Americans who had been respected as soldiers came home determined to fight U.S. racism. Most whites were determined to keep them “in their place.”

As mobs raged, some 2,000 black Washingtonians rallied here to defend their neighborhood. Veteran sharpshooters manned the Howard Theatreís roof, and others patrolled Seventh Street. Clergymen called on President Wilson
Armed Resistance Marker - Photo on Reverse image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 27, 2011
2. Armed Resistance Marker - Photo on Reverse
The separate Welcome Home Parade for African American soldiers who served their nation in segregated units during World War I, Pennsylvania Archive, February 1919.
National Archives and Records Administration
to protect the community. By the time U.S. troops quelled the violence, seven people were dead and hundreds were injured But African Americans took pride in the successful defense of their neighborhoods.

Among those decrying the violence was William A. Taylor, founding pastor of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church, which you just passed, at 633 Florida Avenue. The original 1913 church building was replaced in 1964.

[Photo captions:]

For the duration of the disturbances, the Washington Post ran inflammatory headlines including this one from July 22, 1919. The Washington Post

This map, published in the old Washington Times in 1919, shows areas of the city hit by “rioting” on July 21. “Zone 1” was the around where this sign is today. Washingtoniana Division, DC Public Library

After the disturbances ended, copies of this handbill appeared throughout DCís black neighborhoods. Newberry Library

Rev. William A. Taylor, center, and family at his 2119 13th St. home, 1938. At upper left is grandson Billy Taylor, later an influential jazz musician and educator. Collection of Rudy Taylor

The Florida Avenue Baptist Church, right, celebrated its mortgage burning in 1944. Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
 
Erected
Armed Resistance Marker - close-up of documents on obverse, upper left image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 27, 2011
3. Armed Resistance Marker - close-up of documents on obverse, upper left
2011 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 4 of 19.)
 
Location. 38° 54.965′ N, 77° 1.301′ W. Marker is in Shaw, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Florida Avenue, NW east of Georgia Avenue, NW. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20001, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dunbar Theater/Southern Aid Society (within shouting distance of this marker); Howard Theatre (within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing); Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Flower Garden of Washington (about 500 feet away); Griffith Stadium (about 500 feet away); Griffith Stadium Site (about 500 feet away); Grief Turns to Anger (about 700 feet away); Washington Conservatory of Music and School of Expression (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shaw.
 
Also see . . .  Red Summer in Washington, DC. (Submitted on January 17, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
 
Additional keywords. Red Summer
 
Categories. African AmericansChurches, Etc.War, World I
 
Armed Resistance Marker - intersection of Florida & Georgia Avenues, NW image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 27, 2011
4. Armed Resistance Marker - intersection of Florida & Georgia Avenues, NW
Inflamitory Headlines image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
5. Inflamitory Headlines

Detective Sergeant Wilson Victim; Other Officers Hurt; Negro Runs Amuck, Wounding Many in Flight.

Fighting Spreads to Many Sections After Troops Form a Cordon Around Center of City

Martial Law Virtually in Force Downtown From White House to Mall and Capitol, Thence to H, K, and L Streets Northwest. One Policeman Wounded—Negoes Fired on Whites From Speeding Autos.

Where Serious Rioting Took Place Last Night

† † † †Second and G streets northwest, where Detective Sergeant Harry Wilson was shot to death by negress as he forced his way into house.
† † † †Fouth and N Streets northwest, where Randall Neale, engro, (sic) was killed.
† † † †Seventh and G streets northwest, George Dent, negro, was shot and probably fatally wounded after he had shot and seriously wounded two white men.

For the duration of the disturbances, the Washington Post ran inflammatory headlines including this one from July 22, 1919.
Close-up of image on marker
Map Showing the Zones Where Last Night's Rioting Occurred. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
6. Map Showing the Zones Where Last Night's Rioting Occurred.
This map, published in the old Washington Times, in 1919, shows areas of the city hit by “rioting” on July 21. “Zone 1” was the around where this sign is today.
Close-up of map on marker
Be Ye Also Ready<br>for We Know Not When They<br>Will Return image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
7. Be Ye Also Ready
for We Know Not When They
Will Return

Lest We Forget!

† †††Lest we forget the Democracy for which our men fought and died; lest we forget to strike out enemies the death blow when the lives of our mothers, fathers, wives, sweethearts, sisters and brothers are sought by the white intruder; lest we forget the vile, insidious propaganda directed against us in this the Nation's Capital by infamous Pseudo-Americans and the press; lest we forget vows and oaths made an taken to right our wrongs without fear and without compromise after the war; we do solemnly declare to lash ourselves to our gallant tars, and expire together in one common cause, fighting for a save and decent place to live in.
† †††Mothers and fathers, we are ready to protect you at any cost.

Rev. William A. Taylor & Family image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
8. Rev. William A. Taylor & Family
Rev. William A. Taylor, center, and family at his 2119 13th St. home, 1938. At upper left is grandson Billy Taylor, later an influential jazz musician and educator.
Close-up of photo on marker
Mortgage Burning image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
9. Mortgage Burning
The Florida Avenue Baptist Church celebrated its mortgage burning in 1944.
Close-up of photo on marker
Florida Avenue Baptist Church image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
10. Florida Avenue Baptist Church
Cornerstone image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
11. Cornerstone

Florida Avenue
Baptist Church


Organized
July 21,1912 A.D.
Rebuilt 1962 - 64 A. D.
Dedicated
To the Glory of God, The
Memory of the Founders
and their Successors
You Are Here image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
12. You Are Here
Close-up of map on marker
7th Street and Florida Avenue image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
13. 7th Street and Florida Avenue
Georgia Avenue becomes 7th street south of Florida Avenue. Here 7th Street is also named “Chuck Brown Way” for the Godfather of Go-Go.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 17, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 623 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 17, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on August 29, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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