Making Chocolate City: The Black Power Movement in Washington, DC

Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library

Making Chocolate City: The Black Power Movement in Washington, DC

Wednesday, July 17, 2019, 7 p.m.

From the 1960s to the 1990s, Washington D.C. was well known as the nation’s preeminent “Chocolate City.” The District became the first majority-black major city in the U.S. in 1957, and the black percentage of the population rocketed to over 70% within little over a decade.  

Yet the term ‘chocolate city’ denoted far more than a simple black majority. As the poet Kenneth Carroll has argued, District African Americans used the term to represent the intersection of a black majority, that community’s prolific production of black art and culture, and the city’s rising prospects for black self-determination in the 1960s through the mid-1990s. The force that brought these three developments together - and made the District the first large city to elevate a former black power activist to the mayor’s office: Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee veteran Marion Barry - was the black power movement. Though several historians have written captivating monographs that cover certain aspects of the black power movement in D.C., no one has penned an overview of the movement in the city. As a result, our understanding of the depth, complexity, and intersections of black activism in the nation's capital is severely limited. Drawing from his current project, the Washington, D.C. Black Power Map, an interactive web-based map of the Black Power Movement in in the District, George Derek Musgrove will present an overview of the movement in the city, emphasizing the principal activists and organizations that drove black protest during the period.

Registration required via Eventbrite.

Add to Calendar 17-07-2019 19:00:00 17-07-2019 20:00:00 Making Chocolate City: The Black Power Movement in Washington, DC From the 1960s to the 1990s, Washington D.C. was well known as the nation’s preeminent “Chocolate City.” The District became the first majority-black major city in the U.S. in 1957, and the black percentage of the population rocketed to over 70% within little over a decade.   Yet the term ‘chocolate city’ denoted far more than a simple black majority. As the poet Kenneth Carroll has argued, District African Americans used the term to represent the intersection of a black majority, that community’s prolific production of black art and culture, and the city’s rising prospects for black self-determination in the 1960s through the mid-1990s. The force that brought these three developments together - and made the District the first large city to elevate a former black power activist to the mayor’s office: Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee veteran Marion Barry - was the black power movement. Though several historians have written captivating monographs that cover certain aspects of the black power movement in D.C., no one has penned an overview of the movement in the city. As a result, our understanding of the depth, complexity, and intersections of black activism in the nation's capital is severely limited. Drawing from his current project, the Washington, D.C. Black Power Map, an interactive web-based map of the Black Power Movement in in the District, George Derek Musgrove will present an overview of the movement in the city, emphasizing the principal activists and organizations that drove black protest during the period. Registration required via Eventbrite. false DD/MM/YYYY