Slummy history

Okay I think I now know what direction I want to go with my blogging. I have been thinking of ending InShaw, as we know it, sometime next year. Well I might just put InShaw in semi-retirement, just reporting on the TC side of things and things close to the TC borders. What I may replace it with is good old Shaw history since I’m finding the stuff I find so friggin interesting.
I’m not talking Victoriana or great people history. I don’t subscribe too much to the idea that history is a glorifying narrative, nah. To me it is an explanation of why this world is broken, and screwed up. Why my house was designed by crackheads. We hear the phrase ‘we read about history so that we may learn from it’, well this is what I’m learning, and I enjoy sharing it with you.
Looking for more info on the Shaw School Urban Renewal Plan, I found a master’s thesis from M.I.T. “The influence of meaningful citizen participation on the urban renewal process and the renewal of the inner-city’s black community: a case study – Washington, D.C.’s Shaw School urban renewal area – MICCO, a unique experiment.” by Reginald Wilbert Griffith, written in 1969. I want to thank MIT for putting out those papers that normally only 5 people tops (10 people for PhD dissertations) would ever see, because it is a jewel, even though it is a quite biased bit of work, or “limited objectivity on the part of the author,…”
The PDF file MIT provides to non-MIT people doesn’t allow printing, but it is worth the read for two bits that I found enlightening. One was a late 1960s description of the area on page 20:

The Shaw School area, named after an aged and dilapidated junior high school known as ‘Shameful Shaw’ is third in terms of the evolution of communities in the District of Columbia and was the fifth blighted section of Washington to be studied and the latest to be approved, for urban renewal. It was planned from a ‘black community’ and ‘advocacy planning’ point of view.

And on page 15, the author mentions “Concentrations and/or differences in land uses, physical conditions and building types, income property ownership and race coupled with identifiable places of community activity, all combine to suggest several communities within the Shaw area (see map 3).” However, he doesn’t try to name them, which I found frustrating.

One thought on “Slummy history”

  1. thank you so much for finding and blogging this. what a scheme walter fauntroy cooked up, it’s no wonder he left congress in disgrace and a dark cloud over his head.

    they didnt really plan on jobs to keep people employed. MICCO was just grabbing land and holding onto it. i find it of note that the corner of 7th and P is STILL vacant….almost 40 years after the riots. how long did it take to rebuild japan after WW2? LOL

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