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Sun, 07.09.1865

The Shaw Neighborhood (Washington, DC) a story

*The Shaw Neighborhood of Washington D.C. is celebrated on this date in 1865. Shaw is a central neighborhood in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C.

Shaw emerged from freed slave encampments in the rural outskirts of Washington, D.C. It was originally called "Uptown" in an era when the city's boundary ended at "Boundary Street" (now Florida Avenue). The neighborhood thrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as the pre-Harlem, national center of U.S. black intellectual and cultural life. During this time, President Andrew Johnson signed Howard University's founding charter.

Also in 1925, Professor Alain LeRoy Locke advanced the idea of "The New Negro" while Langston Hughes descended from LeDroit Park to hear the "sad songs" of 7th Street. Another famous Shaw native to emerge from this period, sometimes called the Harlem Renaissance, was Duke Ellington. Historically, Shaw and the U Street Corridor have been the city's black social, cultural, and economic hub, witness to Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and riots, marches, and protests that fought to achieve racial equality in Shaw and America.

We chose this month and date because of the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, which established the District of Columbia. They have designated much of Shaw as the Shaw Historic District, and Shaw also contains the smaller Blagden Alley-Naylor Court Historic District, listed on the National Register.

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