Most chronologies of the fight for school desegregation often leave off at the Supreme Court decision, a nice bow-on-top finish to a long struggle against segregation, but in reality, the process of integrating the schools was far from over.
The history of school desegregation in the District is rooted in civil disobedience. The story is one of a grassroots organization of parents that challenged the institution of legalized segregation to guarantee better schools for their children. Throughout the seven-year struggle, the activists were supported by the District's Black churches, and their mission was grounded in the principles of faith and social justice.
How did the historic D.C. neighborhood of Anacostia get its name? The short answer is, of course, its proximity to the Anacostia River; but the river has its own history that’s worth unpacking. Like the Potomac, Anacostia’s name can be traced back to the area’s Indigenous population – in this case, the Nacotchtank of the Algonquian stock.
In the summer of 2011, basketball fans across the country weren't sure when they would ever get to see their favorite NBA players in action again due to labor strife. Luckily for those right here in the District, a community streetball league based in Southeast offered up the perfect solution to get some of the game's top talent on the court and competing again, and managed to turn a small gym in Northeast, D.C. into the center of the basketball universe for one special night.
In 1959, Anacostia’s Curtis Bros. Furniture Company commissioned Bassett Furniture to construct a 19.5 foot tall Duncan Phyfe dining room chair to put on display outside their showroom at V St. and Nichols Ave. SE (now Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd. SE).
In one of the more creative publicity stunts D.C. has ever seen, the company then convinced local model Lynn Arnold to live in a glass apartment atop the chair for seven weeks. Crowds flocked to the store in droves to check out the scene.