April 6, 2016

Take Kojo’s Audio Tour of “Chocolate City” From 1963 To 1975

ByIngalisa Schrobsdorff

Washington Committee Black Power’s Vote mobile in 1967.

Washington Committee Black Power’s Vote mobile in 1967.

The years between 1963 and 1975 were tumultuous and formative for the District. The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum exhibit “Twelve Years that Shook and Shaped Washington: 1963-1975” documents this era of profound change, particularly here in the Washington, from the March on Washington, to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the riots that followed, and the hard-won fight for home rule and D.C.’s first elected government.

Kojo arrived in Washington midway through this period, and lived through many of the events documented in the exhibit. He recently visited the exhibition with one of its co-curators, Marjorie Lightman, and local resident and playwright John Johnson.

They discussed the city’s changing demographics over the decades and how the nickname “Chocolate City” came about. Listen for the moment Kojo spots a photo of D.C.’s first city councilmembers –and names them and their wards all by memory!