The Nation's Capital has always been Chocolate City - but will it continue to be? Home of the largest slave trading city in the 19th century to the center of Black culture as the first majority Black city in the 20th century, Washington, DC is rooted in Black power. It’s the 21st century, however, and Chocolate City is at stake. 2019 showed Washington, DC held the highest gentrification rate across its neighborhoods than any other U.S. city. Today, the Black population has fallen to less than 45% from its peak over sixty years ago. The erasure of Chocolate City is more than changing demographics: it is systematic and structural racism at play in the heart of this country. This identity and narrative of Washington, DC must continue to be spoken, heard, and seen. Recent movements such as Black Lives Matter and DC statehood can contribute to preserving Chocolate City, but it will take much more action and change to revive Black Washington.
The audience will hear from a distinguished panel including Jamal Holtz, Project Manager and Assistant to the President, LINK Strategic Partners who will serve as moderator for the discussion, Mignotae Kebede, Director, What Happened 2 Chocolate City, Willow Lung-Amam, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Urban Studies and Planning; Director, Community Development, National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, University of Maryland, Andre Perry, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings; Scholar-in-residence, American University; Columnist, Hechinger Report, and Sabiyha Prince, Ph.D., Urban Anthropologist; Artist.
The audience will also have the opportunity to view a screening of Director Mignotae Kebede's documentary, What Happened 2 Chocolate City, as part of this two-day program on, "The Future of Chocolate City" one week later on Tuesday, March 30.