Washington DC Southeast
Washington DC Southeast
These days, with the redeveloping of neighborhoods in most of Washington D.C.’s communities, the Washington DC Southeast section is becoming the last of its kind.
While there has been a black presence in the city of Washington D.C. since its beginning, the area of Washington DC Southeast had two specific areas, Barry Farm and Anacostia, that has been communities for African-Americans since the 1800s.
Supposedly, Barry Farm was one of the first places that accepted black residents in Washington DC, as the small neighborhood became a home for freed slaves.
After Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and people began to riot and protest soon after, many white families left Washington DC Southeast for the suburb communities in the Maryland counties.
By the 1970s, the Southeast was a predominantly black community with people moving and relocating to areas like Congress Heights, Washington Highlands, Marshall Heights, and other Washington DC Southeast neighborhoods.
With the city becoming mostly African-American and gaining the nickname of Chocolate City, the streets began to take shape, especially in the 1980s and 90s, as Washington DC was known as the capital of the United States and the “Murder Capital” of America.
The heart of the streets in one of the most respected places in the city was and still is, the Washington DC Southeast project and apartment buildings. For generations, many of these communities had their own reputations, from being well known in the streets to being publicized on television.
Projects like Kentucky Court or Potomac Gardens in the Captiol Hill neighborhood, 37th Street’s Fort Dwellings and Stoddart Terrace, 58th Street, Benning Terrace aka Simple City, Barry Farm, or Woodland Terrace aka Langston Lane / Lench Mob.
To continue, the small complexes in Anacostia like Pitts Place or Cedar Gardens, the number of projects in the Highlands, like Alley Mob of Condon Terrace or Whaler Place, and the apartment buildings like Wellington Park and Stanton Oaks, or others around MLK and Alabama Avenue.
Starting in the 1990s and 2000s, gentrification began to change the city’s racial makeup, with the name of Chocolate City becoming unrelated to today’s Washington DC.
With the gentrification, the city used the government’s HOPE VI program, which is provided by the department of Housing of Urban Development (HUD) to rebuild and demolish certain communities.
The South Side or south of the Anacostia River is the only section of the city that has not been widely affected by Washington D.C.’s gentrification, with exception to a few housing projects like Eastgate, the 58th Street Projects of East Capitol Dwellings and Capitol View Plaza, Stanton Terrace of Stanton Dwellings and Frederick Douglass Dwellings, the Washington Highlands Valley Green and Linda Pollin, and Sheridan Terrace.
Many of D.C.’s housing projects were rebuilt through the government’s Housing of Urban Development funded Hope VI programs when the government gives cities across the country finances to demolish and rebuild its housing projects.
Confrontations and conflicts were centered around the rebuilding process of Washington DC communities.
Example of problems included, residents claiming the housing authority was allowing apartment units to deteriorate so they can be claimed as unlivable and eventually to be demolish or the promising of rebuilding led to less than half of the original units being replaced.
*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.