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G. Derek Musgrove, co-author of Chocolate City: A history of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital, will join us to discuss his new project the Washington D.C. Black Power Map.  

Washington D.C. is well known as the nation’s preeminent “Chocolate City.” The District became the first majority-black major city in the U.S. in 1957, and the black percentage of the population rocketed to over 70% within little over a decade. Though Washington was the nation’s preeminent chocolate city, historians have done precious little work on the black power movement in D.C. The term ‘chocolate city’ denoted far more than a simple black majority. As the poet Kenneth Carroll has argued, District African Americans used the term to represent the intersection of a black majority, that community’s prolific production of black art and culture, and the city’s rising prospects for black self-determination in the 1960s through the mid-1990s.The force that brought these three developments together was the black power movement.  Underscoring the importance of the black power movement to the making of Chocolate City, the The Washington D.C. Black Power Map will chronicle the black power movement in Washington D.C. between 1961, the year Malcolm X gave his first major address in the city, and 1995, the year that the city hosted the largest African American mass protest in U.S. history: the Million Man March.”

George Derek Musgrove, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is the author of Rumor, Repression, and Racial Politics (U. of Georgia, 2012), co-author, with Chris Myers Asch, of Chocolate City, A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital (UNC, 2017), and several scholarly articles on Washington D.C. and contemporary African American political history.  His work has appeared in The Washington Post, National Public Radio, and theRoot.  He is currently working on a web-based map of the Washington, D.C. Black Power Movement, broadly conceived as stretching from 1961 to 1995, and a book project tentatively titled “We must take to the streets again”: The Black Power Resurgence in Conservative America, 1980-97, which explores the burst of black activism that rose in opposition to the urban crisis and the conservative retrenchment. He earned his Ph.D. from New York University in 2005 and now lives with his wife and two sons in Washington, D.C.

(This event was initially on Feb. 5 but has been moved to Feb. 12 due to a scheduling conflict.)

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