Even before jazz came into its own, D.C. was a hub of black music, with clubs along U Street drawing racially diverse crowds in a city that was otherwise segregated. As jazz developed and artists from and traveling through the District made their mark in the field, the city struggled through the years leading up to and after the Civil Rights movement. We consider the city’s deep connections to some jazz greats, its complex racial history, and where the legacy of performers past is reflected today.
Professor of History, Georgetown University; author of “Let This Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism” (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press)
Vice President for Programs, Wilson Center; author, “Washington’s U Street: A Biography”