Northeast Washington DC
The largest section of the city, Northeast Washington DC was home to some D.C.’s most legendary communities like Parkside, Little Vietnam (21st and Maryland), KWA (Kenilworth Avenue), Trinidad, Clay Terrace and Lincoln Heights.
Black History of NE DC
While Northeast Washington DC is a predominantly black community, in the beginning black families were only limited to a few of the areas in the community.
Some of the city’s oldest all-black communities in Northeast Washington DC were Deanwood, Carver-Langston, Rosedale and Kingman Park, Ivy City, Brookland and parts of what is now the Kenilworth Avenue area.
Places like Deanwood were one of the city’s oldest all-black communities and had various historic all-black establishments like an amusement park, theaters and other businesses.
Deanwood originally started out as a rural area that would later be built into a livable community by black workers after African-Americans were not allowed in certain areas.
The Carver-Langston neighborhood is home to one of the city’s first housing project, Langston Terrace, and across Benning Road is the Rosedale and Kingman Park area that was originally built for white families but would later become African-American.
The small and isolated neighborhood of Ivy City became an all-black community with the help of employment opportunities as early as the late 1800s, while parts of Brookland had black families in the area since around the 1930s.
The KWA section of Northeast Washington DC started out as a suburb for white families due to an old all-white housing complex that was known as the Lily Pond Houses.
After Kenilworth Courts replaced Lily Pond in the 1950s, the community slowly became predominantly African-American, especially since there was already an all-black community by the name of Eastland Gardens nearby.
After the Riots
Due to the rioting from the assassination of Martin Luther King and the elimination of segregation, many white families left the city for the suburbs in nearby Maryland.
Their exit from the city eventually made Northeast Washington DC to become a predominantly black community by the 1970s and 1980s.
Northeast DC would later become a mixed community of low-income areas of housing complexes and middle-class African-American communities like Riggs and Michigan Park.
As the streets took over Washington DC, especially the start of the 1980s, areas like Trinidad, E Street, Langdon Park, Edgewood, Monroe Street and all of the housing projects of the Northeast became well respected in the city.
While gentrification is affecting many of the communities in Washington DC, parts of the Northeast that are south of the Anacostia River are the least affected by gentrification, with exception to the demolishing of Parkside and 58th Street housing complexes.
The part of Northeast Washington DC that is near the United States Capitol buildings are the communities that are being hit the hardest by gentrification as people are being forced to move with the rise in rent and property values.
In some areas real estate companies and private investors, with the help of government funding, would buy properties and then would later raise the rent, which has made many families who have lived in their neighborhood for years to relocate into other parts of the city.
*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.
Sources / References Links:
Deanwood History Committee. “Images of America: Washington, D.C.’s Deanwood”. Arcadia Publishing. 2008.
DC New Communities Initiative. “About the Lincoln Heights and Richardson Dwellings Neighborhood”.
Feely, John and Dempsey, Rosie. “Images of America: Brookland”. Arcadia Publishing. 2011.
Humanities DC. Ivy City Oral History Project. http://wdchumanities.org/docs/hrc/ivycitybooklet.pdf
Knight, Athelia. “KINGMAN PARK IS THRIVING ON COMMUNITY SPIRIT.”Washington Post. The Washington Post, 2 Apr. 1988. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
Marshall Heights Community Development Organization. http://www.mhcdo.org/. History of Kenilworth.
Ripley, Amanda. “ChronicTown.” Washington City Paper. Washington City Paper, 30 Oct. 1998. Web. 22 Oct. 2016.