D.C. History is Black History! Boundary Stones is proud to celebrate Black History Month with some of our favorite videos and articles. Meet community leaders like Charles Hamilton Houston, Anna J. Cooper, Marion Barry and others. Revel in the creativity of artists and musicians like Alma Thomas and The Blackbyrds. Relive pivotal moments in the local Civil Rights movement — and much more!
Highlights from Our Boundary Stones YouTube Series
In 1941, the U.S. was preparing for World War II. Residents of Queen City, a deeply-rooted, tight-knit Black neighborhood of over 900 people in Arlington, watched in awe as nearly 15,000 workers erected the Pentagon on a plot of federally-owned land next to their community. Some had enlisted, while others worked for the federal government. But then the government came for their shops, their churches and even their homes.
Rats in Washington, D.C. have always been bad — in the 1960s, the city had as many rats as people — but in 1964, one local civil rights activist Julius Hobson decided he'd had enough. To protest the lack of rat patrols in Black neighborhoods, he captured rats in Shaw and threatened to release them in swanky, upscale Georgetown. Alive.
Way back in the 1870s, Washington D.C. passed two anti-discrimination laws that made it a crime for restaurants to refuse service based on race. As Jim Crow tightened its grip, the laws were omitted from the city code and faded from memory. But they were never actually repealed. And when Civil Rights researchers uncovered the so called "Lost Laws" in the ‘40s, Mary Church Terrell used them to topple segregation in D.C. restaurants.