On Assignment


For much of the early 20th century, U Street was the mecca of African American culture in Washington. Black-owned storefronts lined the sidewalks and nightclubs featured the best black entertainers, including hometown favorite Duke Ellington. By mid-century, U Street began changing, sparked by the challenges of integration in 1954, the riots of 1968 and the economic downturn of the 1970s and '80s. In the 1990s, the opening of the U Street-Cardozo Metro station encouraged investment and brought a feeling of renewal. Through pictures and sounds, photojournalist Morris Weintraub examines the contemporary reality of this historically significant community, in celebration of Black History Month.