All Articles Tagged "washington d.c."
With Heavy Gentrification And A Not So “Post-Racial” Society, Washington D.C. Still Needs “Emancipation Day”
D.C. just celebrated its 153rd Emancipation Day on April 16, commemorating the end of slavery in the nation’s capital. The very first celebration of this day had come roughly nine months before President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and annual festivities took place in the streets of D.C. from 1866 to 1901. Thanks in large part to the efforts of resident Loretta Carter Haynes, the parade was revived in 2002 and has been held every year since then. Now a legal holiday, Emancipation Day’s importance, marked by floats, a free concert, and fireworks, means even more in an increasingly gentrified city.
As a native Washingtonian, I always took pride in knowing that I hailed from a place lovingly known as Chocolate City: the birthplace of go-go music and the home of Chuck Brown; a hub of higher education housing the campus of beloved HBCU Howard University; and a city led and strengthened by Black politicians like Eleanor Holmes Norton and former Mayor Marion Barry (whose personal demons overshadowed his record). D.C. is Civil Rights’ stomping ground. And in D.C., Blackness is not otherness. Blacks are the majority, the norm, and thriving.
However, whenever I go home during the holidays, I barely recognize certain neighborhoods. Many have been transformed in order to accommodate the influx of predominantly white, young professionals. As a whole, that translates to luxury apartments and condos, soaring rent, hipster trendiness, dog parks, and Whole Foods (special shout-out to all things yoga). Places where I rarely saw non-brown faces – U Street, Florida Avenue, Adams Morgan, Petworth – have soared to popular heights and are now visited and inhabited by more whites than ever.
outPlease do not misconstrue my observations as an “us versus them” type of mentality. I am fully aware that demographics ebb and flow from decade to decade. None of this information, after all, is particularly new, as we have heard similar stories in cities throughout the country. However, this marked change reflects a much bigger issue that deserves attention: wealth disparity and the pushing out of a people who have long been marginalized. This includes low-income and long-time D.C. residents. What makes this different than the white flight that occurred during the great migration and beyond and when Blacks left the South and moved to northern cities is a matter of choice and mobility. Many white families willingly left when Black populations moved into neighborhoods once devoid of racial diversity. But when you are low income or middle class, if you are being priced out of your own neighborhood, that is a lot different than packing up and leaving on your own accord.
Then there’s the reality that more amenities, better roads, and safer streets have, at times, only been provided when communities become less Black and more white. Neglected neighborhoods are seen in a new light by developers hungry to service the needs of a new clientele. These sorts of things can strengthen neighborhoods, but why this change happens so quickly when Black citizens are less prominent in the overall equation is of concern. Is gentrification an issue of voting and showing up at the polls? Is it about income and education? Discrimination? The questions and answers are endless and need to be discussed.
So what does all of this have to do with Emancipation Day? Emancipation Day marks more than the ending of slavery in D.C. It highlights the history and heritage of the Black experience in a city the entire world knows and looks to. That cannot be overlooked or undersold. Black people – our contributions, our achievements, and our very existence – have been forgotten and erased from history one too many times. Clearly, we are not going anywhere.
The acknowledgment of Black neighborhoods and communities becoming more gentrified is not meant to deter or disavow white people, or any other people for that matter. We all want to co-exist peacefully, equally and fairly and to positively shape our communities. In this age where we openly recognize the growing racial, economic and social disparities that exist in D.C. and beyond, as well as the problems of cultural appropriation and the abundant flaws of the term “post-racial,” Emancipation Day matters, just like Black Lives Matter. It is another means by which we can pave the path to lasting freedom.
The mayor of the District of Columbia says he’s outraged that city firefighters didn’t come to the aid of a man who collapsed across the street from a fire station.
Relatives of Medric Mills say he went into cardiac arrest on Saturday afternoon in a shopping center parking lot and later died. They say several people went across the street to the station, but no firefighters or emergency medical workers walked over to help.
Mayor Vincent Gray said Wednesday that he has spoken to the daughter of Mills, who was a longtime city employee.
Read more on this incident at BlackVoices.com
Well, looks like probation could quite possibly be pulled off the table for Chris Brown.
The singer was arrested in Washington, D.C. early Sunday morning for attacking a man, according to TMZ. Police tell TMZ that around 4:30am, Brown and another man got into an argument outside of the W Hotel. At some point, Chris allegedly started punching him.
According to TMZ, Brown is still in custody.
He was in town to host a party at The Park night club (which was around the corner from the hotel) Saturday night in honor of Howard University’s homecoming weekend.
As for the man who allegedly attacked, he’s still at the hospital being evaluated.
Well, it goes without saying that this doesn’t look good for Chris Brown if this story holds up. He’s still on probation from his domestic violence case against Rihanna and could face up to four years in prison if it is found that he violated it.
Perhaps when Chris Brown is released from jail and gets all of his possessions back, he’ll take to Twitter to explain this current situation. So far, he’s blamed the media, the police, white people and just anyone who doesn’t understand him for all of his trouble.
What a mess. Again.
Miriam Carey’s sisters screamed loudly that their sister did not have to die in the hail of gunfire from D.C. police.
They did not say or even hint that race had anything to do with the young black woman’s slaying in her alleged attack on the White House.
The blizzard of oft times conflicting reports on how and why she was killed has left plenty of room for much speculation and serious doubt over whether Carey really was a dangerous suspect who had to be gunned down because of her reckless vehicular careening at the White House and through city streets, or because she was allegedly so depressed, or whacked out on meds.
There are three indisputable facts that raise the doubt level about the way she died and equally why she had to die. And with both, race can’t be scrapped as a factor. The threat level is one. Carey did hit a barrier near the White House and she did panic and flee in the process posing an apparent danger to other motorists and officers. This tagged her as a legitimate suspect for apprehension and arrest. But this action hardly rose to the serious threat level of a possible mjor terrorist attack on the White House. There was no gun fire from her vehicle or any hint before or during the chase of the threat of gun play, or the use of any other weapon, other than her car. Another fact is that there have been multiple attacks on or near the White House over the years. They have included treats to blow up the White House, actual shots at the White House, the brandishing of a gun near the White House and an actual crash through the White House gates. None of these have resulted in the slaying of the suspects even though each case involved an actual violent act, and in a couple of the cases guns.
Read more at EurWeb.com
People Still Believe This? A Few People Try To Boycott Beyoncé’s Concert In D.C. With Illuminati Claims
We all have heard the rumors over the years about Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and a few other very talented and prosperous individuals in the entertainment industry. They’re allegedly part of the Illuminati. What exactly is the Illuminati? A quick and basic explanation (because everyone seems to have their own interpretation they run with and make YouTube videos based on) is that it’s a secret society who have control over a wide variety of things thanks to their substantial influence. Well, a few people who decided to run with the rumors about Bey and Jay decided to go to her recent show in D.C. at the Verizon Center and boycott her outside. They held signs that asked First Lady Michelle Obama not to attend the singer’s show and said that “Jay -Z and Beyoncé are possessed by demons-enter at your own risk-pray!”
In an interview with a local D.C. publication called Afro that we found via The Huffington Post, the men, Wade Montgomery and Rocky Twymon, along with a few others said that the power couple is having a negative effect on the youth and that our First Lady shouldn’t associate with the singer. Here’s what Twymon said:
“We think that the attendance of Mrs. Obama at such an event is unbecoming of a first lady and represents a terrible role model for our youth who are struggling with unemployment at this time.
If you go on the Internet, you’ll see stories about how they’re both part of the Illuminati and you can see Jay-Z’s use of the Satanic triangle symbol when he performs.”
During their protest, The Huffington Post says that the group was mostly mocked by the young people attending the show, but Twymon thinks the parents there understood their message. “We think they will be convicted that there is something wrong here, that there is some type of demonic forces that are a part of the Jay-Z-Beyonce syndrome.”
Wow. That’s all I can say about that. I’m personally not a believer in the Illuminati theories, but clearly some folks have some passionate opinions on the subject and how it pertains to Beyoncé and Jay Z. As for those also in the industry, they find the idea of rappers and singers being caught up in the secret society laughable. Here’s what Busta Rhymes said to MTV during RapFix Live about fingers being pointed at Bey, Jay and a slew of others:
“I think the perspectives need to be fined tuned so that there is proper understanding. If that isn’t fixed, I think this will continue to spiral out of control and become stupid. That agenda is so much bigger than what we could possibly imagine or fathom, just from science alone, the [thought] that they might be able to control the way we think — the last thing they’re gonna need is some rappers’ dialect on a beat to influence anything.”
What do you think?
Police have found the body of Michael Kingsbury, a 7-year-old with autism who went missing near his D.C. home on Sunday morning.
My Fox DC has details:
Police say he was found inside a locked car behind a short fence on private property just two apartment buildings down from where he lived.D.C. police and dozens of recruits went going door-to-door in the Trinidad neighborhood where Kingsbury was last seen around 9 a.m. Sunday.
Michael’s mother, Katrina Kingsbury, thanked the community Monday night for coming out to help with the search.
Many who helped look for the little boy just can’t imagine how they missed him.
“We were there four times,” said Gaston McVea, who was one of the dozens of people who helped search for Kingsbury after he disappeared. “That was our central location and somehow we missed this.”
Questions — about how Kingsbury died and how police and neighbors missed him during their search, among others — remain; Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham said at a briefing that answers are being sought, reports the Washington Post:
The owner of the car was not immediately identified. A police source said that investigators were talking with the owner.Newsham said it was not clear when the boy had entered the car, and he declined to say where in the vehicle the boy had been found. However, two police sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing said the body was on the floor of a locked sedan.
Newsham said police were assessing their search, trying to determine whether they had previously looked into the vehicle. Two police sources said that at least one officer had searched the sedan on Sunday. Newsham declined to confirm that account but said that police were looking into it.
Read and see more at BlackVoices.com
Pass the mambo sauce please! We all know D. C. is home to the delicious mambo sauce drizzled over fried chicken, rent-party popping tunes from great jazz musicians like Duke Ellington, and of course go-go. But I bet you didn’t know that Samuel L. Jackson and his cursing tongue were born there. What about soul crooner Marvin Gaye? Not only is D.C. the capital of the U.S., but also the city where politicians rub elbows with entertainers on a daily basis. They may live in NYC or LA now, but the famous folks on this list were born and bred in Washington D.C. Rep your city!
Taraji P. Henson
Actress and singer Taraji Penda Henson (born September 11, 1970) is best known for her roles as Yvette in Baby Boy (2001), Shug in Hustlle & Flow (2005) and Queenie in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2009. Back in the ’70s and ’80s though, she was just a teen girl from southeast D.C., attending Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Obama and the rest of DC are gearing up for his inauguration on January 21. This time around, when President Barack Obama takes the oath of office, there will be a marked difference in turnout. It will be a much smaller affair, with officials estimating that attendance will be fewer by half, reports Fox News.
The first time around, some 1.8 million people packed onto the National Mall to see the first black President of the United States being sworn in. Now, hotel occupancy is weak compared to 2009, when you could not find an empty hotel room for miles. The special hotel packages aren’t being booked like before, Kate Gibbs, spokeswoman for Destination D.C., a nonprofit corporation that promotes D.C. travel and tourism, told Washington Whispers blog in US News And World Report. Back in 2009, hotel occupancy was 98 percent with guests paying more than $600 that night, according to hotel tracking firm STR, reports Fox News.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is also expecting less congestion with 800,000 fewer people using the rails, compared with 1.54 million users in 2009.
There are fewer official events as well. There will be only two official balls, versus six in 2009. The Inaugural Ball is expected to draw more than 35,000 people at the Washington Convention Center. The Commander In Chief’s Ball, which honors U.S. troops, has actually doubled in size from 2009 and will host about 4,000 participants at the convention hall. The events will, of course be star-studded — performers include Katy Perry, Smokey Robinson, Usher, Alicia Keys, and Brad Paisley. Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor will perform at Obama’s signing ceremony.
Separately but equally interesting, President Obama will use two bibles for this swearing in, reports The Root. One of the bibles was used during the first inauguration in 2009, and was also used by Abraham Lincoln at his first inauguration. The second bible will be one used by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., according to a news release from the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
“On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, this historic moment is a reflection of the extraordinary progress we’ve made as a nation,” Steve Kerrigan, president and CEO of the committee, said in the release.
The MLK bible was actually Dr.King’s “traveling bible.” According to The Root, Dr. King’s children announced, “We know our father would be deeply moved to see President Obama take the Oath of Office using his bible. His ‘traveling bible’ inspired him as he fought for freedom, justice and equality, and we hope it can be a source of strength for the President as he begins his second term.”
In a private swearing-in ceremony at the White House on Jan. 20, the President will use a bible from the First Lady’s family. “The Robinson Family Bible was selected specifically for the occasion. The bible was a gift from the First Lady’s father, Fraser Robinson III, to his mother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson on Mother’s Day in 1958,” writes The Root. “Mrs. Robinson was the first African-American woman manager of a Moody Bible Institute’s bookstore and she used the Bible regularly.”
Will you be there? MadameNoire recently reported on nine reasons to attend.
Rodney P. Hunt made a name for himself by becoming one of the most successful black-owned government contractors in the country. And he wasn’t shy about it; he let everyone know about his success, talking up the lavish $23.1 million mansion that owned on the riverfront in McLean, VA. We say “owned” because the house is scheduled to be sold at auction on September 27, reports The Washington Post.
At one point, Hunt’s wealth was estimated at $265 million. The co-founder of RS Information Systems, a tech company launched in 1992, he sold that company in 2007. His son was featured on MTV’s Teen Cribs (you can watch a clip via that Washington Post link), his company employed 1,700 workers at one time and RSIS stayed on the Inc. 500 list for years.
But despite his actual success, Hunt felt the need to exaggerate, inventing college degrees, a partial ownership of the Washington Nationals baseball team and even a visit from President Obama when he was a candidate on the campaign trail four years ago. Now, he’s in default for $9.4 million on his lavish Potomac River mansion, owes $10 million for loans and bad investments and hasn’t responded to media inquiries. He has a music label, RPH Entertainment, that reps a number of little-known acts and one, Big Pokey, that WaPo says you might know.
In case you’re shopping for some property, the McLean mansion is equipped with a bowling alley, indoor basketball court and a 15-car garage. Hunt at one time said it covered a total of 53,000 square feet. (He also called his son Bradley, aka rapper Kid Named Breezy, “The Chosen One.” Yikes.) You would need a $100,000 certified check in-hand to purchase.
After the huge success of his tech business, it sounds like Hunt got a little too big-headed and is now paying the price. No one wants to hear a story about someone losing their home or livelihood, but it is a cautionary tale.
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By Makula Dunbar
If there’s anything natives and tourists know in Washington D.C., it’s a distinguished lingo. Phrases like, “Oh my gaw yung, on urrything you a bama!” aren’t uncommon. At some point — on Georgia Avenue or within your circle of friends — you’ve detected a “bama.” A word without one staple definition, Tamika Myers, co-founder of the nail polish line Studio85 says, in the case of an old school female bama — she’d know what color nail polish is best fitting.
“Fifteen years ago, lot’s of people didn’t wear green nail polish boldly. It made you a bama, Myers said.
“We just thought of the weirdest color, something kind of awkward that would match the name of what it meant,” added Myers’ sister Tiffany Burriss —explaining how they came up with the name for their turquoise nail gloss “Bama,” which is part of their District of Columbia collection.
“And,” said Myers, “We added some flakes, how ‘bout that!”
Burris along with Tammi Allen make up the trio of sisters/co-founders of Studio85, which apart from a nail gloss line is also an events, art and apparel shop located in Washington D.C.
“We were in our parents’ hometown of Lancaster, South Carolina at a coffee house we go to all the time. One of us had on a cute color that we said our aunt would love, so we thought what she would call it,” said Burriss elaborating on how it all began.
“We were like, ‘She’d call it 2tat2,’ and that opened up a world of names. Since we started, our aunt passed away so that’s how we pay homage and that’s what jump-started Studio85.”
“Big Chair Brown,” named after a landmark in Southeast D.C., “Roc Creek,” “Go Go,” “Mambo Sauce,” “Yung,” and “1600” are all colors in the District of Columbia collection. Studio85’s 48-color catalogue also includes the City Girl, Southern Girl and Stay Beautiful collections, in addition to a 12-color crackle collection sold only in-store.
It was only eight months ago that the sisters found a space for Studio85. Including the input of the community, local designers and artists, the sisters made a conscious effort to create a store that not only sells nail gloss, but one that various creatives would take advantage of.
“We wanted to make it so it would translate into a space for events and apparel. We’ve had jewelry events, open mics, album release parties, birthday parties, social forums, in-store photo shoots and council-member candidate meet and greets, “ Burriss said. “Pretty much anything that can fit in the space we’re open to doing as long as it keeps up with the integrity if the brand.”