St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church (Washington, D.C.)
Campbell African Methodist Episcopal Church (Washington, D.C.)
Southeast Neighborhood House (Washington, D.C.)
Greenwood Transfer Moving and Storage Company, Inc. (Washington, D.C.)
Anacostia Community Museum
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum
3 open reel 1/2 inch video recording
1 open reel 1/4 inch sound recording
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)
Barry Farms (Washington, D.C.)
Title transcribed from physical asset.
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.
Older residents of Anacostia share their experiences and memories growing up and living in the once tight knit community, Anacostia, to provide evidence of Anacostia's history with goal of understanding the history of the community for present and future generations and with the theory that if man does not know where he came from, he/she cannot know here he/she is, and has no direction for the future. Martha Ellis reminiscences about her work at the public schools, particularly Birney School. Ruth Duckett, Ellis' daughter, talks about her work with the youth group at the Southeast House; when it was safe to sit outside and walk down the street; the portrayal of Anacostia in the newspapers and media; successful people who grew up in Anacostia and moved to other parts of the city and country; the baseball club Anacostia ACs; and ministers and movement of churches in the area. Churches mentioned by Duckett and other residents include Macedonia Baptist Church, St. Teresa's Catholic Church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, and Campbell A.M.E. Church. Residents speak about Anacostia's rich heritage of people doing things - the craftsmen, construction workers, business people, and entrepreneurs - including sign painter, automobile painter, and artist Walter McKenzie; the fish man Mr. Chapman; the Greenwood family and their family business, Greenwood Transfer Moving and Storage Company; and the Taylor family, specifically Blakely Taylor, who were brick layers. They reminiscence about how everyone knew everyone, how everyone helped each other and the community thrive, when mothers stayed home and took care of children, when children participated in programs at the recreation center, when police had closer tie to community; and when it is so quiet, residents could hear cars go across the 11th street bridge. Residents also talk about the present: movement of people from different communities into Anacostia, younger Anacostians forced away because of zoning and no housing besides apartments, dirty streets, and violence. Overall, residents do not feel as if everything is bad in Anacostia; they just wish something would be done to fix the problems before they become worse.
Community Program. Filmed during exhibit Evolution of a Community with introduction by John Kinard (transcribed from physical asset AV003581) and moderated by Almore Dale. AV003581: Part 1. AV003088: Part 2. AV003550: Part 3, poor image quality. Part of Evolution of a Community Audiovisual Records. Dated 19720524. AV003383-3 and AV003383-4: sound only, content overlaps with video recordings, undated.
Down Memory Lane, Exhibition Records AV03-040, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Museums and community
African American neighborhoods
African American churches
African American businesspeople
African American business enterprises
Family-owned business enterprises
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