U Street

Explore the neighborhood that was shared by African American intellectuals, business leaders, and families of all economic levels. The businesses they owned and the houses they lived in are featured on this walk. U Street was dubbed “Black Broadway” for the numerous movie theaters, nightclubs and ballrooms frequented by jazz musicians like Cab Calloway, Pearl Bailey, Jelly Roll Morton, and Duke Ellington himself. You’ll see a theater and club where these performances took place. The first full-service YMCA for African Americans; one of the few hotels that welcomed a black clientele; and the first memorial to African American soldiers who fought in the U.S. Civil War are on the walk route, as are homes occupied by the Ellington family as Duke grew up. You’ll stand on the corner where riots started on April 4, 1968 following the assassination for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King., Jr.  That event may have extinguished the heyday of the area–but only temporarily.


Led by DavidLinda, or Phoebe.


If you like this Washington walking tour, you might also like: Columbia Heights and Logan Circle


2019 dates to be announced soon.


Approximately 2 hours
No reservations necessary. Simply show up!

$20 per person (kids 3 and younger free). $5 discount with U.S. military or federal government ID. Pay in advance or with cash or a credit card when you arrive.

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Embarks from U Street/Cardozo Metro Station’s 13th Street exit.
Questions? Answers here.

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