Photo Exhibit: African-American Recreation and Amusement in D.C., 1900-1970

A black and white photo exhibit depicting a vibrant African American community in Washington, D. C.  In the 1930's, before Ben's Chili Bowl, there was the National Grill,
S. W. Keys Luncheonette and the Harlem Grill, all located in Scott's Building at seventh and T Streets, N. W.  Dances were held at the Lincoln Colonnade, the Murray Palace Casino, Crystal Caverns (now Bohemian Cavern), the Scottish Rite Temple and the Martinque Club.  Theaters featuring vaudeville acts, pictures and local amateur talent included the Blue Mouse, Belasco Playhouse, Hiawatha, Lincoln and Howard Theaters. What is now Ben's Chili Bowl was formerly known as the Minnehaha Theater, one of the city's first African American theaters, a silent movie theater. Summer entertainment included the National Capital Country Club, Highland Beach and Suburban Gardens, an amusement park in Northeast. There are also photos of Rose Park Playground (26th & O Streets, N.W.) with actor Gene Kelly and a local tennis player. A photo of former D. C. Councilwoman, Charlene Drew Jarvis as a debutante in 1958 is also seen in the display.


Join the discussion of The Runaway Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini.  This is the story of
Sylvia Compson, who finds a 150 year old diary of her ancestor and three antique quilts mentioned in the diary.  The diary reveals that Sylvia's family may have been involved with slavery and the Underground Railroad.  Follow Sylvia's story as she unravels a family mystery and her story of heritage and history.