The Intelligencer

Preserving Our Past for DC's Future

People's University July Seminars

Learn about DC history and culture this summer through free seminars at DC Public Library branches. These seminars are inspired by the teach-ins at Resurrection City, the Poor People’s Campaign civil rights encampment on the National Mall. To register, visit

Chocolate City in the 80s: Music, Drugs, and Lies

Monday, July 16, 6:30pm at Shaw Library. Part two of Dr. Natalie Hopkinson's seminar on racially biased news coverage, the so-called “War on Drugs,” go-go music and Marion Barry. This portion will cover counter-narratives of black power and creative control. 

'We Are Headed for Some Bad Trouble': Gentrification and Displacement in Washington, D.C., 1920-2018

Thursday, July 26, 6:30pm at Woodridge Library. Surveying the past 100 years of "private revitalization" or "gentrification" in D.C., this seminar will answer the questions: What is gentrification? How does it happen? Who benefits? Who loses out? What have D.C. residents done to address this issue in the past? Seminar led by George Derek Musgrove, Professor of History at University of Maryland, Baltimore County and co-author of Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital

Mapping Segregation in Washington, D.C.: Restrictive Covenants, Racial Steering, and the Fight for Fair Housing

Monday, July 30, 6:30 pm at Shaw Library. Mara Cherkasky and Sarah Schoenfeld of Prologue DC will explore the long history of displacement, race, and real estate in D.C. Learn about the demands of black home seekers, civil rights attorneys, and fair housing advocates, and the legacy of their efforts.

This series is part of DC Public Library’s year of art, activism, and education commemorating the 50th anniversary of the events of 1968. Visit for more information.

More Upcoming Events

Stories of the Poor People’s Campaign: Documentary Screening and Listening Session

Saturday, July 21, 3:30 – 4:30pm at Benning Library. Join Ann Scherer for a screening of her husband Ed Scherer’s documentary “On the Case,” which captures the voices and images of the travelers and participants of the Poor People's Campaign and Resurrection City. During this event, DC Library Special Collections staff members Ray Barker and Maya Thompson will also share Poor People’s Campaign recordings from the Bruce Jackson collection, and the current work of artist-in-residence Anu Yadav.

Author Talk: Maurice Jackson and Blair Ruble

Wednesday, August 1, 7pm-8:30pm  at Shaw Library. The co-editors and contributors to the recently-published collection of essays, DC Jazz: Stories of Jazz Music in Washington DC, will discuss the social, economic, and historical conditions surrounding DC’s active jazz music past. Jackson, Georgetown University professor, and Ruble, historian and author, are two of 10 area-contributors. The event will be co-moderated by Reuben Jackson, Archivist at the Felix E. Grant Archives at the University of the District of Columbia, and Ray Barker, DCPL Special Collections Archivist. Books will be available for purchase.

Washingtoniana on the Move

Washingtoniana reference services at the Newseum closed on June 29, and will reopen at an interim location, 4340 Connecticut Ave. NW, in Fall 2018. Email and phone reference requests will be suspended until we reopen in our new location. For immediate assistance with non-reference related questions, please call 202-727-1199.

Photo: "Moving books from Central Library to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library," DCPL Archives, 1972.

DCPL Special Collections documents the local history of the District. Explore our collections online at