Black Georgetown: Private Urban Renewal and Dislocation in Washington, D.C., 1930-1950
Mariama Lyotta Richards
N'Dri Therese, Assie-Lumumba
Thesis DT 3.5 2015 R534
vi, 77 leaves ; 29 cm
This thesis explores the impact of private urban renewal on the African American community of the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. In just over two decades, roughly 1930- 1950, Georgetown forced out its black and lower-class populations to make room for a white upper-class community. This residential change was driven by migration into the city by employees of an expanding federal government, New Deal policies, and the desire of white residents of the District of Columbia to live in neighborhoods that had historic significance. The black community suffered substantially from this transition. They were seen as a hindrance to progress and an obstacle to desirable housing. They were not valued for their long and strong ties to the community or for their numerous family businesses and organizations. Instead, they were subjected to evictions and new zoning requirements and were singled out in discussions of public health and safety. These events set the stage for the passage of zoning legislation in Washington, D.C., that was used to reshape the racial composition and appearance of the Georgetown neighborhood.