D.C. Black Power Chronology

Introduction

The Black Power Chronology presents a multimedia timeline of 30 important historic events and institutions that defined the Black Power era in Washington, D.C. The material was compiled over a three-year period by a remarkable set of committee members who are SNCC and Black Power veterans as well as scholars, lawyers, artists, and historians.

The chronology captures the dates of each historic event or institution and presents a detailed narrative about the event, program, or institution as told by a person who was actually involved in its formation. Historic photographs, relevant documents, video clips, and images of posters, book covers, buttons, and flyers are included to amplify the narratives.


Washington, D.C. Timeline

1966
1966

Francine Haskins: Mixed-Media Fiber Artist (1966 – present) By Francine Haskins

Francine Haskins: Mixed-Media Fiber Artist (1966 – present) By Francine Haskins
I am an introvert, a daydreamer—a mixed media fiber artist (dolls, quilts, and paintings). I was always interested in art and listening to my Aunt..Read More
1966

John A. Wilson: D.C. City Council & SNCC Veteran (1966 – 1993) By Eric P. Jones

John A. Wilson: D.C. City Council & SNCC Veteran (1966 – 1993) By Eric P. Jones
My friend, John A. Wilson (September 29, 1943 – May 19, 1993), was one of the most celebrated and influential elected officials in the history..Read More
1966

Robin Gregory: Howard University’s First Afrocentric Homecoming Queen (1966) by Robin Gregory

Robin Gregory: Howard University’s First Afrocentric Homecoming Queen (1966) by Robin Gregory
Working for the Movement In 1963, I was a rising sophomore at Howard University, working a summer job for the Marines in Washington, D.C. When..Read More
1966

The New Thing Art and Architectural Center (1966- ) By Topper Carew

The New Thing Art and Architectural Center (1966- ) By Topper Carew
I started The New Thing in the fall of 1966 in Adams Morgan in an old, one-room storefront with a sagging floor at 1811 Florida..Read More
1966

The New School of Afro-American Thought: Development, Philosophy, and Impact (1965 – 1969) By Baba Lumumba

The New School of Afro-American Thought: Development, Philosophy, and Impact (1965 – 1969) By Baba Lumumba
“The purpose of the New School of Afro-American Thought was to challenge the direction of Black educational philosophy and practice in America. It set out..Read More
1967
1967

Anacostia Neighborhood Museum (1967 – present) by Niani Montgomery Kilkenny

Anacostia Neighborhood Museum (1967 – present) by Niani Montgomery Kilkenny
In September 1967, the Smithsonian Institution opened the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum (ANM) under the direction of community activist, organizer, and minister, John Robert Edward Kinard...Read More
1968
1968

Dreams, Mysteries, Visions (1968 – present) By Januwa Moja

Dreams, Mysteries, Visions (1968 – present) By Januwa Moja
Januwa Moja’s creations explode in a profusion of color and style, making unique African cultural statements that underscore her love for and celebration of our..Read More
1968

Drum and Spear Bookstore By Tony Gittens

Judy Richardson and Tony Gittens, 1968-Photo by Washington Post
Judy Richardson and Tony Gittens, 1968-Photo by Washington Post Origins In 1967-1968, members of the SNCC leadership moved from the organization’s headquarters in Atlanta, Ga.,..Read More
1968

Drum and Spear Press: “Book Publishers for the Pan-African World” (1968–1972) By Jennifer Lawson

Drum and Spear Press: “Book Publishers for the Pan-African World” (1968–1972) By Jennifer Lawson
Jennifer Lawson Photo by Vernard Gray Our Washington in the 1960s The energy was palpable. Whenever we were in a room together, ideas ricocheted at..Read More
1968

Drum and Spear Bookstore (1968 – 1971) by Daphne Muse

Drum and Spear Bookstore (1968 – 1971) by Daphne Muse
Daphne Muse In the tradition of our ancestors, Drum and Spear Bookstore was founded by and staffed with intellectually amazing people whose activism was fueled..Read More
1968

Republic of New Afrika (1968 – Present) By Nkechi Taifa

Republic of New Afrika (1968 – Present) By Nkechi Taifa
Nkechi Taifa-Courtesy of Nkechi Taifa One of the most pivotal and prolific lectures I heard while a student at Howard University during the early 1970’s..Read More
1968

A Brief History Beyond the Freedom Rides: Building an Independent Afrikan School for Our Liberation (1968 – Present) By El Senzengakulu Zulu

A Brief History Beyond the Freedom Rides: Building an Independent Afrikan School for Our Liberation (1968 – Present) By El Senzengakulu Zulu
The struggle for justice and freedom for Afrikan people continues for Baba El Senzengakulu Zulu. After the freedom rides Baba El Zulu became an enlisted..Read More
1968

Creating a Black Studies Department at Federal City College (UDC), 1968 – 1969 By James P. Garrett

Creating a Black Studies Department at Federal City College (UDC), 1968 – 1969 By James P. Garrett
James (Jimmy) Garrett My name is James (Jimmy) Garrett. I am going to summarize efforts by SNCC folks to develop and establish a Black Studies..Read More
1968

Kwanzaa in D.C. (1968 – present) By Baba Lumumba

Kwanzaa in D.C. (1968 – present) By Baba Lumumba
Kwanzaa is a holiday based on the African tradition of celebrating the first fruits of the harvest. This holiday was tailor-made for the Black Power..Read More
1969
1969

The Center for Black Education: An Historical Sketch (1969 – 1974) By James P. Garrett, Photos by Ivy Young

The Center for Black Education: An Historical Sketch (1969 – 1974) By James P. Garrett, Photos by Ivy Young
Photo By Ivy Young The Center for Black Education (CBE), an independent Black education institution, formally opened on Sunday, September 14, 1969, in Washington D.C...Read More
1969

Sixth Pan-African Congress: Planning, Preparation and Implementation, 1969 – 1974 By Sylvia I.B. Hill

Dr. J. Fletcher Robinson and President Nyerere
Dr. J. Fletcher Robinson and President Nyerere “The 20th century is the century of Black Power. It has already been marked by two dynamics. First,..Read More
1970
1970

Regional Addiction Prevention, Inc. (RAP, Inc.) and Black Power By Ron Clark and Angela Owens

Regional Addiction Prevention, Inc. (RAP, Inc.) and Black Power By Ron Clark and Angela Owens
Regional Addiction Prevention, Inc. (RAP, Inc.) was established in 1970 as a non-profit, residential drug and alcohol abuse treatment organization in Washington, D.C. We opened..Read More
1971
1971

“Hear and Obey”: Accepting the Call of the Nation of Islam (1971 – 1973) By Marcia V. Ellis

Marcia Ellis
All photos courtesy of Marcia Ellis Muhammad’s Mosque No. 4 was legally incorporated in 1959; only Detroit, Chicago, and Milwaukee had preceded Washington in developing..Read More
1971

WHUR-FM Howard University Radio By Niani Montgomery Kilkenny

WHUR-FM Howard University Radio By Niani Montgomery Kilkenny
I was an enthusiastic listener of WHUR-FM before I joined the staff as Public Affairs Director in December 1974. Black Power was my cultural, political,..Read More
1972
1972

The Adams Morgan Organization and Black Power in D.C. (1972 – Present) By Marie Nahikian

The Adams Morgan Organization and Black Power in D.C. (1972 – Present) By Marie Nahikian
Marie-Nahikian The Adams Morgan Organization (AMO) and its leadership had a role in Black Power in the District of Columbia along many paths. Each path..Read More
1972

Washington’s First African Liberation Day Celebration (1972) By Sylvia Hill 

Washington’s First African Liberation Day Celebration (1972) By Sylvia Hill 
The first national observance of African Liberation Day in Washington, D.C. occurred in 1972, following a visit to the liberated zones of Mozambique by Jimmy..Read More
1972

Malcolm X Day Celebration—Washington, D.C. (1972 – 1994) By Charles C. Stephenson, Jr.

Malcolm X Day Celebration—Washington, D.C. (1972 – 1994) By Charles C. Stephenson, Jr.
The first time I attended a Malcolm X Day Celebration was in 1969, in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. It had a theme of..Read More
1973
1973

The Founding of Sweet Honey in the Rock* By Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

The Founding of Sweet Honey in the Rock* By Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon
Shortly after arriving in D.C. and finding a place to stay, getting the children in school, and getting started with my classes, I got in..Read More
1977
1977

The Early Years of WPFW 89.3 FM Pacifica Community Radio (1977-1980) By Lorne Cress Love

The Early Years of WPFW 89.3 FM Pacifica Community Radio (1977-1980) By Lorne Cress Love
Pacifica Radio Comes to Washington When I came to D.C. in the early 70s, the city was still reeling from the assassination of Dr. King..Read More
1978
1978

From the Southern Africa Support Project to the Free South Africa Movement: A Brief Historical Recollection  (1978 – 1990) By Sylvia Hill

From the Southern Africa Support Project to the Free South Africa Movement: A Brief Historical Recollection  (1978 – 1990) By Sylvia Hill
“Solidarity is not an act of charity, but mutual aid between people fighting for the same objectives.” 1A version of this paper was presented in..Read More
1985
1985

Jazz: Its Cultural Importance and Its Link to Black Political Empowerment (1985 – present) By Cedric R. Hendricks

Jazz: Its Cultural Importance and Its Link to Black Political Empowerment (1985 – present) By Cedric R. Hendricks
John Conyers and Cedric Hendricks in July 2018 at John’s home in Detroit In the Beginning I went to work for John Conyers in September..Read More
1990
1990

Damali Afrikanwear (1990 – present) by Brenda Winstead

Damali Afrikanwear (1990 – present) by Brenda Winstead
Brenda and a market woman in Conakry, Guinea. Courtesy of Brenda Winstead. I am a self-taught designer who founded Damali Afrikanwear 29 years ago. Damali..Read More
1990

Nelson Mandela’s Visit to the United States and Washington, D.C. (1990) By Sylvia I.B. Hill

Nelson Mandela’s Visit to the United States and Washington, D.C. (1990) By Sylvia I.B. Hill
Nelson Mandela with Sylvia Hill and Gay McDougall “Free Nelson Mandela” We had spent years organizing and participating in boycotts, legislative advocacy, divestment campaigns, material aid..Read More
1994
1994

Sisterspace and Books (1999 – 2004) By Cassandra Burton

Sisterspace and Books (1999 – 2004) By Cassandra Burton
Sister Ruby Dee at Sisterspace and Books Sisterspace and Books was an African-American woman-owned bookstore and cultural center located on U Street, N.W., for over..Read More
1998
1998

Sankofa Video, Books & Café (1998 – Present) By Founders Haile and Shirikiana Gerima

Sankofa Video, Books & Café (1998 – Present) By Founders Haile and Shirikiana Gerima
First question: what was the climate in D.C. in the mid-90’s when you were thinking about creating the space Sankofa? Haile Gerima: What culminated to..Read More

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