Posted tagged ‘demographics’

Mapping Segregation Presentation Tomorrow at Park View Recreation Center at 6:30 pm

June 9, 2015

1952 Washington population map(Map from the 1950s showing changing demographics in Washington.)

How did restrictive housing covenants shape DC neighborhoods? Prologue DC historians Mara Cherkasky and Sarah Shoenfeld will present the latest findings in their ongoing research project, Mapping Segregation in Washington DC, on Wednesday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Park View Recreation Center, 693 Otis Place NW, and Wednesday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Public Library, 901 G Street NW. Both events are free and open to the public.

Mapping Segregation in Washington DC looks in depth at the historic segregation of DC’s housing, schools, recreation facilities, and more. The project’s first year has focused on racially restrictive housing covenants and legal challenges to them.

Maps are used to better understand how many of DC’s “historically black” neighborhoods were once exclusively white, and how the city’s racial geography has been shaped by segregation. Maps tell stories that words cannot.

Prologue DC’s research is comprehensive and unprecedented. Mara Cherkasky and Sarah Shoenfeld have been hand-searching real estate records at the DC Archives and reviewing digitized documents at the Recorder of Deeds. In addition, they’ve been incorporating information found in the Washingtoniana Room at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, including real estate maps, city directories, newspapers, and the DC building-permit database. Census records and materials from the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. help fill out the picture.

This project is a collaboration between Prologue DC and GIS mapping expert Brian Kraft of JMT Technology Group. It is funded in part by the Humanities Council of Washington, DC.

Mapping Segregation is an ongoing project, so please check their Website for updates.

Or send an email to info(at) with “Mapping Segregation updates” in the subject line.

1952 Map Documents Beginning of “Chocolate City”

June 29, 2012

Lately, it seems like a day doesn’t go by without another news article about gentrification in the Washington area. While the focus in 2012 is on how the city is becoming whiter, sixty years ago the buzz was about the growing black population in Washington and its role in the upcoming presidential election between Republican candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower the Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson.

The map below, published in the Baltimore Sun on November 2, 1952 (two days before the election), illustrates the city of Washington’s changing demographics from 1930 to 1950. The accompanying text is below the image.

“Segregation … in Washington, D.C. has become an issue in the current political campaign, and abolishment of segregation has been promised by both parties. This map, based on a District of Columbia census tract[s], shows the white and non-white areas. The solid black areas denote a population of over 50% non-white since [the] 1930 census; the checked portions show the same percentage since the 1940 census, and the lined parts indicate the same percentage since the 1950 census. Each dot represents housing for 100 non-whites in predominantly white areas.”


Are Neighborhood Discriptions on Wikipedia of Value?

February 16, 2010

Among the things I did over the last week and a half to avoid cabin fever was update and expand the Park View entry in Wikipedia. To try to get a good feel on what a D.C. neighborhood page should look like I reviewed many of the pages for neighborhoods in the city, and found that many could use additional information. Which, to me, begs the question: “Are neighborhood descriptions on Wikipedia of value?”  Have you found them useful in the past, found them lacking, or actually taken the time to add information to them?

One thing I discovered in putting the page together was the population of the neighborhood over time ( see graph below). While the population has been in decline since the 1950 census, I’m willing to bet that the 2010 census numbers will show the first increase in 60 years.

(Click on image for larger, clearer version. Sources:  “DC Tract Profile, Tract 32”. NeighborhoodInfo DC. Retrieved 2010-02-12;  “Census of Population and Housing”. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-02-12.)

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