Many of the District's landmarks, bridges, streets and buildings reflect the contributions of black Americans to the nation's historical development.
The following is a sampling of that heritage:
Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History: Formerly located at 1538 9th St. NW and now located at 1407 14th St. NW, the association was for many years the only professional agency concerned with preserving the record of blacks in American history. Carter Woodson, a lecturer and scholar who began publishing the "Journal of Negro History" in 1916, was the organizing force behind the association.
Banneker Cirle and Benjamin Banneker Park: The circle, at the end of the Promenade at L'Enfant Plaza, surrounds a park. Both are named for Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806), America's first black scientist, who was appointed in 1798 by President George Washington to define the boundary lines and lay out the streets of D.C.
Frederick Douglass Homes: From 1871-1877, Frederick Douglass lived in the townhouse which now houses the Museum of African Art at 316-318 A St. NE. In 1877, Douglass moved to Cedar Hill, at 1411 W. St. SE, where he lived until his death in 1895. The 20-room colonial mansion has been preserved in his honor and was declared a national monument in 1964 by then-Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall. Douglass, (1817-1895), was a major voice in the abolitionist movement of the 19th century. When the Civil War broke out he met with President Lincoln and helped recruit the famous 54th and 55th Massachusetts Negro regiments. During the Reconstruction period, he was appointed to the territorial legislature of the District. He was founder of The North Star newspaper, which sought to plead the black case before the American public.
Douglass Road: Also named for Frederick Douglass, the road runs about four blocks, from Sheridan Road to Stanton Road SE.
Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge: This wad formerly called the South Capitol Street Bridge, and has been remaned in Douglass' honor.
Duke Ellington Birthplace: Jazz musician Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was born in 1899 at 1212 T St. NW. The talented pianst, band leader and composer died in May, 1974.
Ellington Bridge: Formerly called the Calvert Street Bridge, it was renamed in Ellington's honor.
Emancipation Statue: Located in Lincoln Park, the statue was financed by and erected through the efforts of freed slaves. It is the oldest memorial to Abraham Lincoln in the Washington area. Thomas Bell's statue, dedicated in 1876, depicts a slave receiving a benediction at Lincoln's feet. The slave is trying to break the chain.
Howard University: Founded in 1867, Howard is the largest institution for higher education established for blacks in the immediate post-Civil War period. The university's Founders Library contains more than 300,000 volumes, including the Moorland Collection, known as one of the finest collections on black life and history in the country.
Hunter Place: Named for the Rev. William Hunter, who was the first landholder in Barry's Farm, a free black community in Anacostia established in response to the critical housing needs of thousands of blacks who sought refuge here during the Civil War. Hunter helped establish Macedonia Baptist Church, the earliest church of that denomination in the Anacostia area. The two-block Hunter Place runs from Howard Road SE to 16th Street SE. in Anacostia.
Malcolm X Park: The park, at 16th and Euclid streets NW, is called Malcolm X Park in honor of the outspoken Black Muslim leader and founder of the protest group, the Organization of Afro-American Unity. The park's official name is Meridian Hill Park.
Martin Luther King Avenue: Named for slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), who is recognized as the dominant force in the civil rights movement from 1957 to 1968. King, the co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, was well known for his policy of non-violent protest, and a number of historic moments in the civil rights struggle. He was prime mover of the Montgomery bus Boycott in 1956; main speaker at the March on Washington in 1963; winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and leader of the voter registration drive in Selma, Ala., which culminated in the Selma-to-Montgomery Freedom March. The avenue named in King's honor begins at Good Hope Road SE and runs about 40 blocks, ending at the old D.C. Village in Southeast Washington.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library: The King library, at 901 G St. NW, is the largest memorial to King in the United States.
Mary McLead Bethune Memorial: This monument, located in Lincoln Park on East Capitol Street between 11th and 13th streets NE, was the first monument to a black person, or to a woman, erected on public land in D.C. It was unveiled in 1974. As an educator, Bethune was concerned about the children of laborers who worked on the Florida East Coast Railroad. She established the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for black girls in 1904. In 1926, the school merged with Cookman Institute of Jacksonville to form the Bethune-Cookman College. She helped President Roosevelt organize the National Youth Administration and became director of the Division of Black Affairs. She also started the National Council of Negro Women.
Mary McLead Bethune. Memorial Museum: Housed on the upper two floors of Mary McLead Bethune's former residence at 1318 Vermont Ave. NW, the museum opened last November after two year's work by the National Council of Negro Women. It features black women in the fields of education, journalism and entertainment. The National Archives for Black Women's History is located in a carriage house behind the museum. Among the central elements of the archives are documents of the National Council of Negro Women that date back to 1935.
Metropolitan A.M.E. Church: The church, at 1518 M St. NW, was completed in 1886 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. When it was dedicated, the church was reported to represent "the largest organized body of blacks in the world." Over the years it has played an important part in the city's history, with its membership including black leaders such as Frederick Douglass.
Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue: Named for educator Nannie Helen Burroughs (1883-1961), who devoted most of her life to social service. She organized the Women's Industrial Club in Louisville, which specialized in teaching dramatic skills to young black women. Working with the National Baptist Convention, she played an important role in founding and was president of the National Training School for Women and Girls, which opened in 1909. She was also active in the National Association of Colored Women and the NAACP. The avenue, located off Kenilworth Avenue in Northeast, runs about 25 blocks, from Minnesota Avenue NE to Eastern Avenue NE.
Whitney Young Bridge: Formerly called the East Capitol Street Bridge, it was renamed in honor of Whitney M. Young Jr. (1922-71). He was executive director of the Urban League from 1961 to 1971; dean of Atlanta University School of Social Work from 1954 to 1961; a prominent lecturer and author of "To Be Equal" and "Beyond Racism."