United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands
Douglass Hall (Washington, D.C.)
Birney Elementary School
Anacostia Community Museum
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum
1 open reel 1/2 inch video recording
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)
Barry Farms (Washington, D.C.)
Title transcribed from physical asset (Evolution of a Community) and contents of video recording (tour of the exhibit).
Evolution of a Community, an exhibit at the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum from January 1972 though December 1972, presented the history of Anacostia from post-World War II to the present through photos, text, drawings, video tape programs, and a slide/tape show. Evolution of a Community Part II, also known as Anacostia Today, was on display at the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum from March 1973 though July 1973. The exhibitions developed as a result oral histories collected from Anacostia residents.
Historian Louise Daniel Hutchinson leads tour of museum exhibit Evolution of a Community. The tour includes four stops: Douglass Hall (black shopping center), Old Birney School, a black home, and a black church. Prior to the tour, Hutchinson provides a history of Anacostia from its earliest beginnings when the Nacotchtank Indians, part of the Algonquian family, lived on the land now known as Anacostia until General Howard bought land, Barry Farms, to break up into lots to sell to free blacks through the Freedman's Bureau. During the tour, Hutchinson describes employment in the 1920s; segregation in schools, businesses, and theaters; the clearing of Tent/Shack City, where veterans lived, with tear gas and fire under the direction of Douglass MacArthur, George Patton, and Dwight Eisenhower in 1932; home life and items found in a black home in the 1920s; and the importance of the church to the spiritual and social lives of black people.
Tour of exhibit. Part of Evolution of a Community Audiovisual Records. Video recording quality: image drop out and skips in recording. Undated.
Evolution of a Community: Oral History of Anacostia, Exhibition Records AV03-040, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution
African American neighborhoods
African American business enterprises
African American churches
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Some items are not accessible due to obsolete format and playback machinery restrictions. Please contact the archivist at ACMarchives@si.edu