Grief Turns to Anger

Grief Turns to Anger (HM1LE3)

Location: Washington, DC 20001
Country: United States of America
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N 38° 54.854', W 77° 1.31'

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Lift Every Voice

— Georgia Avenue/Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail —

Thursday Evening, April 4, 1968. The news that the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has been assassinated in Memphis makes its way like lightning through the city. Nearby at 14th and U Streets — once the cultural heart of DC's African American community and a bustling area where hundreds change buses and shop — faces register first shock and then anger. People demand that businesses close out of respect for Dr. King. Then individuals begin breaking windows, looting some places, burning others. The violence spreads along U Street to this intersection, where, over the next three days, almost every white-owned business on Seventh between S Street and Florida Avenue is destroyed.

A United Planning Organization leader tells the Washington Post that day, "Black Americans feel more divided from white Americans than at any time in this century."

The 1968 riots were, in large part, a response to inequities in housing, jobs, and schools, and to the city's neglect of black neighborhoods. "We're burning the rats and roaches along with everything else," proclaimed a youngster who had just set fire to a store here on Seventh Street. The rubble and crime left behind scarred this Neighborhood for years, and those who once enjoyed its restaurants and clubs stayed away. While officials and activists worked on rebuilding plans almost immediately — a playground opened in summer 1969 where Waxie Maxie's had stood at 1836 Seventh Street, across Seventh close to T Street — it would take many long years and the 1991 opening of this Metro station to make substantial progress.
Details
HM NumberHM1LE3
Tags
Marker Number1
Placed ByCultural Tourism DC
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, June 29th, 2015 at 10:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 324706 N 4309202
Decimal Degrees38.91423333, -77.02183333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 54.854', W 77° 1.31'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 54' 51.2400" N, 77° 1' 18.6000" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202, 703
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1801-1805 7th St NW, Washington DC 20001, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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