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

Ed Murphy Way

Lift Every Voice

 

—Georgia Avenue/Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail —

 
Ed Murphy Way Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
1. Ed Murphy Way Marker
Inscription. Back In The '60s, everyone came to Murph's.

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 Muhammad Ali, Coretta Scott King, Carl Stokes, and John Conyers. After two years of punishing debts, however, Murphy sold the hotel to Howard University.

Beginning in the early 1900s,
Ed Murphy image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
2. Ed Murphy
Ed Murphy, in white suit facing the camera in his Harambee House Hotel.
Close-up of photo on reverse of marker
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 Heritage DC. (Marker Number 7.)
 
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 (U.S. 29) and Bryant Street when traveling south on Georgia Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20059, United States of America.
 
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); Freedmen's Hospital (about 600 feet away); Medical Care for All (about 800 feet away); Griffith Stadium Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Griffith Stadium (approx. 0.2 miles away); Teachers and Preachers (approx. 0.2 miles away); "Strike!" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Howard University (approx. 0.2 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
Ed Murphy Way Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
3. Ed Murphy Way Marker
 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.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansIndustry & Commerce
 
Original Ed Murphy's Supper Club image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
4. Original Ed Murphy's Supper Club
Patrons at Ed Murpy's Club, 1971 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
5. Patrons at Ed Murpy's Club, 1971
Close-up of photo on marker
Harambee House Hotel shortly after it opened in 1978 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
6. Harambee House Hotel shortly after it opened in 1978
Close-up of photo on marker
Oscar Brown Jr. (above) and Stevie Wonder played Harambee House's Supper Club. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
7. Oscar Brown Jr. (above) and Stevie Wonder played Harambee House's Supper Club.
Close-up of photo on marker
Jesse Jackson image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
8. Jesse Jackson
Presidential Candidate Jesse Jackson addresses the press at Harambee House's successor, the Howard Inn. At right are Minister Louis Farakhan and DC Delegate Walter Fauntroy.
Close-up of photo on marker
The Pit image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
9. The Pit
A Streetcar worker raises the trolley's pole to connect the to the overhead on Georgia Avenue here, 1947.
Close-up of photo on marker
Ed Murphy Way image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
10. Ed Murphy Way
2225 Georgia Avenue image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
11. 2225 Georgia Avenue
Formerly Harambee House Hotel.
2225 Georgia Avenue image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
12. 2225 Georgia Avenue
Map You Are Here image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
13. Map You Are Here
Close-up of map on marker
Martin Luther King image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 1, 2013
14. Martin Luther King
On the wall at 2225 Georgia Avenue
“Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit…declaring eternal hostility to proverty, racism, and militarism.”
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 22, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 4, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 247 times since then and 32 times this year. 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.
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