April 06, 2012

44 year ago today, Washington burned

A neighbor pointed us to this poignant video footage of the riots that occurred 44 years ago here in Washington after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Contrary to popular belief, suburban flight and urban disinvestment were already well-underway by 1968. The destruction that occurred in American cities that year was not the cause of urban decay; it merely accelerated a pre-existing, post-war urban decline. Most middle-class Americans, regardless of race, do not want to live or shop in a war zone, after all. Thus DC’s commercial districts quickly declined.

The riots that year were a mixed result: they meaningfully displayed frustration at systematized racism in American society, but they also destroyed the essential businesses in DC’s majority-black neighborhoods.

The sociology of the matter is controversial, but it’s important we review accounts of the history just to know what happened.

Look carefully at video and you’ll recognize 7th Street in Shaw, U Street, and 14th Street. Washington was never the same after April 1968.

Categories: History
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2 Replies

  1. Poignant indeed. Thanks for posting.
    ‎”A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967

    Marc - April 6, 2012 @ 6:27 pm
  2. Ben uzaylıların Türkiye’de birileri ile iletişim kurması halinde kahvehane köşelerinde batak adlı oyunu oynayıp “Memlekette iş yok be ağabey” diyeceğinden şüpheleniyorum

    http://www.mcsorleydesign.com/ - June 5, 2016 @ 4:15 pm

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