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Exploring Brochures – Deanwood A Model of Self-Sufficiency in Far Northeast Washington, D.C.

✍️🏼Sophia V. Nelson

I was recently gifted a selection of Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum exhibitions and other DC History brochures. On the surface, these are simply brochures but take a closer look, and you’ll find that they are little windows to the past. Join us as we explore these brochures throughout Black History Month.

The Deanwood History Project brochure – published in 2005. The project interprets the history of the Deanwood neighborhood located in Northeast Washington, DC.

Brochure cover. It features a photo of “residents at the groundbreaking for First Baptist Church of Deanwood’s second building in 1909.”

Image 2: video clip from “Deanwood Oral History Project – A Self Reliant People” produced by HumanitiesDC (full-length video is available on YouTube).

Close up of page 9. The page is titled “Earning Our Daily Bread” and includes details about the types of businesses Deanwood residents owned and operated. Project researchers referred to the Simms Blue Book and National Negro Business and Professional Directory to determine that in 1944 Deanwood had a dry cleaner, filling station, auto repair shops, beauty shops, a record store, and more.

Founder of the National Training School for Women and Girls (1909), Nannie Helen Burroughs is one of several notable African Americans that lived in the Deanwood neighborhood.

One of Washington DC’s oldest African American communities, Deanwood, comprises “Victorian, neoclassical, colonial, revival, prairie, and craftsman” houses. These homes were designed and constructed by African American architects.

Architect H.D. Woodson, for whom a DC High School is named after, resided in the community. Along with a few other investors, H.D. Woodson founded the Universal Development and Loan Company. The group designed and established Suburban Gardens Amusement Park, which catered to African Americans during segregation.

A digital copy of the Deanwood brochure is available on https://planning.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/op/publication/attachments/Deanwood_%2520Brochure.pdf

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