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Mapping Segregation: A Walking Tour of DC

Saturday, October 14 @ 10:30 am


Sponsored by National Capital Bank

Historian Sarah Jane Shoenfeld, co-director of the public history project Mapping Segregation in Washington DC, will lead a walking tour of DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood. This tour highlights key sites in the legal campaign against racially restrictive deed covenants, which kept much of this neighborhood off-limits to African Americans when it was first developed around the turn of the 20th century. Discover why Bloomingdale’s premier architectural corridor was also a racial barrier, and how Black home-seekers and civil rights attorneys chipped away at this dividing line.

Mapping Segregation in Washington DC documents the historic segregation of DC’s housing, schools, playgrounds, and other public spaces, and the serial displacement of Black Washingtonians. Central to the project is the mapping of racially restrictive covenants, which assigned value to housing and to entire neighborhoods based on the race of their occupants, and made residential segregation the norm. Although eventually outlawed, covenants had a lasting imprint on the city. Their legacy was central to shaping DC’s mid-century racial transformation; led to decades of disinvestment in areas where African Americans lived; and influenced residential patterns that persist today.

Participants are asked to download the DC Historic Sites mobile app, available for IOS or Android. It includes a tour called The Campaign Against Covenants in Bloomingdale with maps and photos to be highlighted during the walking tour.

Meet at 2 pm in the small park across from Big Bear Café at First and R Streets NW.  Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water. 

Now in its 8th year, Hill Center’s Benjamin Drummond series honors America’s first liberated enslaved people with scholarly and celebratory programs that bring together a diverse group of prominent experts, artists, and public figures throughout the year to explore the Civil War and its aftermath from the African American perspective. Named for the Old Naval Hospital’s first patient, a young African American seaman taken prisoner by Confederated ships, Benjamin Drummond Emancipation Day Celebration marks 161 years since President Abraham Lincoln signed The District of Columbia Emancipation Act, which freed DC’s over 3,000 enslaved people nearly nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation.

Made possible in part by support from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities,  the Capitol Hill Community Foundation and National Capital Bank.



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Mapping Segregation: A Walking Tour of DC (10-14-23)
$ 15.00
12 available


Saturday, October 14
10:30 am
Event Categories:
Mapping Segregation in Washington, DC
Benjamin Drummond Emancipation Day Celebration
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