Home 9 African American History and Culture
1. Cedar Hill, the residence of Frederick Douglass – Located in historic “Old Anacostia”, this was his hilltop home with the spectacular view of the city of Washington. Douglass, orator and famed abolitionist of the 19th century and a confidant of Abraham Lincoln, played a critical role in recruiting blacks to join the Union Army. After the war and its aftermath, he lived a comfortable life here for 18 years.
2. The National Archives – The Archives contain the original “Declaration of Independence,” the “Constitution,” and the “Emancipation Proclamation” which is sometimes on periodic display often during February, “Black History Month,” along with more than 3 billion other records of American history.
3. Lincoln Park: Emancipation Memorial – Located at the west end of Lincoln Park, the memorial was dedicated on April 4th 1876 and paid for by the donations of African Americans across the country. The statue depicts Abraham Lincoln extending the proclamation to a slave who has broken his chains and is rising from his knees. Frederick Douglass delivered the keynote address.
4. Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial – This is the first statue erected to a woman in a public park, dedicated July 10, 1974, the 99th anniversary of her birth. Bethune became an advisor to President Roosevelt, and in 1936 she became the first black woman to head a federal office. She was founder and president of Bethune-Cookman College and founder and president of The National Council of Negro Women.

5. National Training School for Women and Girls – In 1909, Nannie Helen Burroughs opened an industrial school for girls, offering practical training in gardening, domestic work, and vocational skills. Later, the school became part of the District of Columbia’s public school system. She was a strong advocate of black cultural heritage, dedicating her life to the advancement of African Americans.

6. The Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (formerly the M Street High School) – The school was founded in 1870 as “The Preparatory High School for Negro Youth.” One of the first high schools for African Americans, it represented an important development in the city’s education system, producing a high percentage of college graduates. Many of its alumni became prominent educators and public figures.
7. Dr. Ernest E. Just Residence – A pioneering African American biologist, academic, and science writer, Just’s primary legacy is his recognition of the fundamental role of the cell surface in the development of organisms. He also left an everlasting impression in the African American community for his pursuit of higher education. He was one of the four founding members who established the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
8. Founders Library – The centerpiece of the Howard University campus, the neo-Georgian building was designed by Albert Cassell who established and developed the university’s 20-year campus master plan. The building also houses the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, one of the world’s largest collections of material relating to the history of Blacks in the US, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

9. Howard Theater – The first legitimate theater for blacks in the nation, it opened in the summer of 1910. The auditorium booked shows acts and circuses for nearly 20 years before closing due to the stock market crash of 1929. In 1931, with the gala reopening of the theater, Duke Ellington brought back the glamour and prestige of performing at the Howard. Pearl Bailey, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Lena Horne, and Sammy Davis Jr. were just a few of the many well-known entertainers who performed there.

10. African American Civil War Memorial – Commemorating the service of 209,145 African American soldiers and sailors who fought for the Union in the United States Civil War, the 9-foot bronze sculpture named “The Spirit of Freedom” was made by artist  Ed Hamilton. The memorial includes a walking area with curved panel short walls inscribed with the names of the men who served in the war.

11. T Street Post Office – Located at 1409 T Street, this postal station was a unique response to segregation, and also denying window assignments at the main post office. A compromise was the establishment of the T Street station, staffed entirely by Blacks. It became one of the most successful stations in the city, by 1951.
12. Whitelaw Hotel – Completed in 1913, the hotel was the city’s first first-class hotel and apartment building for Black visitors and residents. It was renovated into apartments in the 1970’s.

13. Industrial Bank – Known as the wage earners bank, it was founded in 1913 by pioneer Black financier John Whitelaw Lewis. At the time, Blacks could open accounts but not get loans from white banks. Black patrons flocked to the new bank, and in a few short years it had 16,000 depositors, becoming one of the leading Black banks in the U.S.

14. The MLK, Jr. Memorial – The memorial is located in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., at the northwest corner of the Tidal Basin, on a sightline linking the Lincoln Memorial to the northwest and the Jefferson Memorial to the southeast. Dr. King is the first African American honored with a memorial on or near the National Mall, and only the fourth non-President to be memorialized in such a way. 
15. St. Mary’s Episcopal Church – An historic landmark and architectural jewel, it was designed by famed 19th-century architect James Renwick, and was the first black Protestant Episcopal Church in the District – Saint Mary’s Chapel for Colored People. The chapel building was secured with the help of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton who donated lumber from an army hospital chapel.
16. Ben’s Chili Bowl – A well-known restaurant in D.C., located on U Street NW in the Shaw neighborhood, it was founded August 22, 1958 by Ben Ali, a Trinidadian-born immigrant, and his fiancé, Virginian-born Virginia Rollins. The establishment is known for its famous patrons (President Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and many more), as much as for its cuisine.