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


Lift Every Voice


—Georgia Ave./Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail —

"Strike!" Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 17, 2016
1. "Strike!" Marker
Students of the 1930s and '40s protested lynchings nationwide and DC businesses that snubbed African Americans. In the early 1960s students organized sit-ins, registered voters in the South, and discussed pan-African theories. In 1966 university traditions merged with the Black Power movement when students elected the Afro-sporting activist Robin Gregory as Homecoming Queen.

The following spring students protested the Vietnam War, charging that black soldiers fought for "freedom they do not have" at home. After students boycotted classes, Howard changed from a requirement to an elective the military (ROTC) training that put many on the path to Vietnam. In March 1968 students demanding a more Afrocentric curriculum seized the Administration Building. Writing to President James M. Nabrit, himself a civil rights icon, students insisted that Howard open to the wider black community, produce "leaders who take pride in their true identity," and become "the center of Afro-American thought." The negotiated settlement gave students more say in curricular and disciplinary issues. One month later a stunned campus united in grief over the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who had often spoken on campus.

Many graduates continued the struggle. Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Toure) chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
"Strike!" Marker reverse image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 17, 2016
2. "Strike!" Marker reverse
Committee and eventually moved to Guinea and worked for pan-African revolution. Student leaders Charlie Cobb and Anthony Gittens co-founded DC's first Afrocentric bookstore, the Drum and Spear. Former theology student Douglas Moore led the Black United Front and helped found the DC Statehood Committee.

Homecoming Queen Robin Gregory, 1966.

Protesters fill the Administration Building hallway, March 1968. At right, students post one of their demands.

Student leader Anthony Gittens announces the end of the March protest. From left are trustees Percy Julian, Jr., Richard Hale, Kenneth Clark, and Myles Page, and students Ewart Brown (later premier of Bermuda), Adrienne Mann, Gittens, Michael Harris, and Q.T. Jackson, Jr.

Howard students react to Dr. King's assassination, 1968.

Howard alumni Douglas Moore, right, and Stokely Carmichael, above.

How many dreams and memories reside in this short stretch of Georgia Avenue!

South of Florida Avenue where it is called Seventh Street, its heart once beat to jazz riffs and the eager steps of people dressed in their finest. Here swept aromas once wafted from commercial bakeries. Just north of Florida is where hot Saturday afternoons meant Griffith Stadium, the crack of the bat and shouts of baseball-mad crowds. And Georgia continues. It climbs
"Strike!" Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 17, 2016
3. "Strike!" Marker
The main entrance to Howard University can be seen in the background in this view to the east.
toward Howard University, the historical heart of our country’s African American intellectual community. Farther still, brick temples of learning give way to rowhouses and storefronts, and the steady beat of everyday life.

Lift Every Voice: Georgia Ave./Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail pays homage to the musicians and impresarios, Jewish shop-keepers and African American barbers, intellectuals and activist, and all who built a thriving community along this stretch of one of Washington's oldest thoroughfares.

“Pleasant Plains” once was the name of the Holmead family estate, which spread from Rock Creek to Georgia Avenue north of Columbia Road. Today’s Pleasant Plains neighborhood lies north of the old Holmead land. And while most of this trail lies in Pleasant Plains, it actually starts in Shaw, enters Pleasant Plains at Florida Avenue, crosses through Park View, the neighborhood north of Howard University, and ends in Petworth.

Lift Every Voice: Georgia Ave./Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail is an Official Washington, DC Walking Trail. The self-guided tour of 19 signs is 1.9 miles long, offering about two hours of gentle, uphill exercise.

Free keepsake guidebooks in English and Spanish are available at businesses and institutions along the way. For more on DC neighborhoods, please visit

Collaborators and credits of the Heritage Trail

Caption: Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking in Rankin Chapel, Dec. 1956.
Scurlock Studio Record, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 10 of 19.)
Location. 38° 55.344′ N, 77° 1.272′ W. Marker is in Pleasant Plains, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Howard Place, NW and 6th Street, NW, on the right when traveling east on Howard Place, NW. 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. Howard University (a few steps from this marker); Andrew F. Hilyer Residence Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Day of Honor 2000 (within shouting distance of this marker); Howard Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); General Oliver O. Howard (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tau Beta Pi (about 300 feet away); Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (about 300 feet away); Teachers and Preachers (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pleasant Plains.
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsEducationWar, Vietnam
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 4, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 420 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 4, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.
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