In the early 20th century as our nation’s capital blossomed, so did the city’s African-American culture. From 1900 to 1960, Washington, D.C. became known as a black intellectual, identity and cultural hub, anchored by Howard University and centered on a stretch of U Street, NW, called “Black Broadway.” On any given night, entertainment giants such as D.C. native Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Pearl Bailey and Billie Holiday often performed in this neighborhood’s nightclubs and theaters.
Although other urban communities like Chicago and Harlem had similar districts, D.C.’s Black Broadway on U Street was one of the most vital, and was nationally known. Despite or perhaps even because of the segregation that prevailed in our nation at that time; its businesses were black owned and run; its buildings, built and financed by blacks; its entertainment, by and for blacks.
DISCOVER: The history & cultural legacy of D.C.'s Black Broadway on U at: blackbroadwayonu.com