“We Are Washingtonians Too”
An introduction to our newest project by Executive Director Toni Ford
By 1970 DC’s population was more than 70% African-American and Chocolate City really existed. A significant population increase was stimulated by the social, political and economic environment of the times. The 60s were characterized as the “Great Society”. Segregation was legally dead, school integration and social liberation were thought to be signs of the times. And to be an educated Black person was to be a sought after individual by government, corporate America and other institutions.
Washington had them all and African Americans came from across the country. There has not been an accounting of how many of the 70% were from cities other than DC. Nor do we know how many stayed in DC. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the number is significant.
These individuals represent the Civil Rights Generation …Baby Boomers. They are now nearing 70 to 80 years seasoned. This project will research and identify Washingtonians who moved to DC between 1960 and 1975, interview a select number, record and video the interviews. Additionally, we will host a “Reunion Seminar” which will be an open invitation with specific emphasis on inviting younger Washingtonians. The purpose and agenda will be to share stories through the prism of why we came, what it took to leave home and why we stayed. (Many young Washingtonians find it difficult to consider leaving DC).
We will design an interview instrument that will pose a range of cultural, economic, political and educational questions designed to create a discussion around three questions: Why did you come? Why did you stay? What are some reflections?
If you’re interested in joining the We Are Washingtonians Too Project, please complete the contact form below with your answers to the above questions. Please leave your phone number in the message below and a member of the Double Nickels team will be sure to contact you!