U Street: D.C.'s Black Broadway
Explore U Street: D.C.'s Black Broadway
Explore the neighborhood that was shared by Black 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. On our walk, 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
- The first memorial to African American soldiers who fought in the U.S. Civil War
- Homes occupied by the Ellington family as Duke grew up
You’ll also stand on the corner where searing protests started on April 4, 1968, following the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That event shook the city and the neighborhood, igniting a sometimes violent response that resulted in property damage. The years that ensued brought other challenges, yet U Street's legacy of Black empowerment has remained intact.
What people are saying about our U Street walking tour
"U Street is really hopping now and this excellent exposure via WW made us want to return to experience the clubs, restaurants, and cultural events in the near future." — TripAdvisor reviewer
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