Duke Ellington's Washington

Duke Ellington's Washington

Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of A Neighborhood

Streaming Video - 2006
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During the early 20th century, Washington, D.C., was the cultural capital of black America. Prefiguring Harlem in the 1920s, D.C.'s Uptown area nurtured dynamic figures such as Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Mary Church Terrell, Justice Thurgood Marshall, and Dr. Charles Drew. In this program, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith tells the often-overlooked story of the heyday, decline, and renewal of Uptown. Combined with rare photographs and archival footage, sparkling interviews with jazz pianist Billy Taylor, Ellington biographer John Hasse, historians James Horton and Edward Smith, and others describe the community's halcyon days, the post-desegregation exodus that opened the door to urban decay, and efforts that are reclaiming and renewing the neighborhood.

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