100 Years of Afro-American History
By Jerome Johnson
D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Sign of the Times Cultural Workshop & Gallery
CFC # 16414 & United Black Fund #8558
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The Two-Story Art Deco Style Building on your left was once the Strand Theater. Abe Lichtman, a Jewish businessman whose movie theaters catered to black patrons, opened the Strand in 1918. Lichtman also operated the Lincoln and Howard theaters . . . — — Map (db m130777) HM
To your right it is the former Merritt Educational Center which operated from 1943 to 2008. However, if you were standing here in the 1920s or '30s, in its place you would have seen exuberant crowds of fashionably dressed African Americans . . . — — Map (db m130780) HM
This quaint frame building has served several church congregations since its construction in 1908. The First Zion Baptist Church stayed for more than 60 years. Since 1993 members of Joshua's Temple First Born Church have worshiped within its . . . — — Map (db m130784) HM
Largely ignored by city officials and isolated from downtown DC, Deanwood remained semi-rural until around World War II (1941-1945).
Lifelong residents who grew up in the 1930s and '40s remember outsiders telling them that they lived in . . . — — Map (db m130781) HM
In 1907, when Deanwood's African American children needed a school close to home, city officials decided to place a public elementary here. Snowden Ashford (1866-1927), the District's inspector of buildings, designed the original four-room . . . — — Map (db m158343) HM
Sheltered from the overt bigotry many African Americans experienced when venturing downtown, Deanwood shoppers of the 1950s patronized Sheriff Road's mostly African American businesses, including Mouse Gordon's tailor shop, Tip Top Grocery, . . . — — Map (db m130783) HM
Up the Hill to your left are several signature handcrafted houses, Beginning in the late 1800s, Deanwood attracted skilled black migrants, who freely passed on their know-how.
In the 1920s Jacob and Randolph Dodd built about 50 structures in . . . — — Map (db m153319) HM