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DC History Center: ‘White Men’s Roads thru Black Men’s Homes!’ Reflecting on DC’s Freeway Fight
November 18, 2020 @ 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm EST
DC History Center presents: ‘White Men’s Roads thru Black Men’s Homes!’ Reflecting on DC’s Freeway Fight
The tension between local and federal Washington sometimes plays out on the streets of the city. In the 1950s and ’60s, one of these fights was literally about streets. As the federal government pushed its plan to construct miles of highway across and through the city—destroying whole neighborhoods and thousands of homes—community activists stood up, organized, and stopped the highways.
What led to the plan for federal highways cutting through our city? How did those fighting the plan build a coalition from both Black and White neighborhoods? And how did this effort shape the city we know today?
The DC History Center presents activist Samuel Jordan, veteran of the DC freeway fights, in conversation with Martin Austermuhle, reporter for WAMU and DCist. They will discuss the structural racism behind the highway construction plan, the interactions with federal government overseers, and how the DC experience influenced other regional and national approaches to protecting neighborhoods from highway development.