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Photos, Oral Histories, Ephemera, and more from     

DC Public Library Special Collections     

 

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About this collection

The U Street Oral History Project gathers first-hand accounts of the historic U Street Corridor neighborhood from its heyday as “Black Broadway” in the 1920s and 1930s through the riots that devastated the area following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., to the present renewal.

 

The project began in spring 2014 with oral historian Kelly Navies conducting interviews with long-time DC residents who were active in the music scenes for which U St was best known. The interviews include first-hand accounts of the entertainment scene, including discussions of artists, venues, and radio stations, as well as racial segregation, the civil rights movement, the 1968 riots, and the changing identity of the U Street neighborhood. To date, fourteen interviews have taken place. The audio recordings are made available here, along an index for each and transcripts for two of the interviews. Interviews will continue to be gathered as part of this ongoing initiative as time and opportunity allow.

 

The DC Public Library holds copyright for all of the U Street Oral History Project interviews.

 

Photo of a crowd at the Howard Theater, 1970s.  From the DC Historic Preservation Division Photograph Collection.

 
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