Recreation in Segregated Washington, D. C.

Lamond-Riggs/Lillian J. Huff Library

Recreation in Segregated Washington, D. C.

Photo exhibit at the library

The month of February, come view a photo exhibit of theaters, restaurants, hotels and other places of recreation for African Americans during the era of segregation in Washington, D. C. 

Did you know:
  • Ben's Chili Bowl was once a silent movie theater.
  • Once upon time, Georgetown was predominantly African American and one of the premier social clubs in Georgetown was the Monticello on M Street NW. 
  • Formal dances were held at the Murray Palace Casino and the Lincoln Colonnade on U Street.
  • The first indoor, full-sized swimming pool for African Americans was built at 24th and N streets NW.
SenatorsIn the library exhibit, you can also see a photo of a football game between Howard University and Lincoln University in the 1920s on Thanksgiving Day; 18,000 people attended.

The exhibit also includes a photo of former Councilwoman Charlene Drew Davis as a debutante in 1958. There are also photos of actor Gene Kelly at the Rose Park Playground in the 1940s on a tennis court, the Suburban Gardens Amusement Park in NE near Benning Road, and, of course, U Street NW when it was known as "The Black Broadway."

For additional information, see The Guide to Black Washington: Places and Events of Historical and Cultural Significance in the Nation's Capitol by Sandra Fitzpatrick and Maria R. Goodwin. Another interesting title is Beyond the Shadow of the Senators: The Untold Story of the Homestead Grays and the Integration of Baseball by Brad Snyder.