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For the Culture: A year of African-American stories in the DC area

The segment was launched to highlight D.C. culture, celebrate DMV residents, and discuss some of the challenges unique to the African-American experience.

WASHINGTON — The demographics and culture of the nation’s capital, which was once coined as ‘Chocolate City’ for its robust African-American population, have changed as new development and new residents continue pouring into the area.

Many native Washingtonians have expressed feeling left out of the District’s economic boom and are continuing to fight for their history, traditions, and culture to be preserved.

WUSA9 launched a segment on Get Up DC called ‘For the Culture’ in March 2019 to highlight D.C. culture, celebrate DMV residents, and discuss some of the challenges unique to the African-American experience.

Since ‘For the Culture’ launched, stories have been told about DMV food, traditions, and music.

Lenell Watson, who is the owner of Crab Boss in Maryland, discussed how he opened a successful seafood business.

Andrew and Nyles Burton, owners and creators of Uncle Dell’s Mambo Sauce, discussed the impact mumbo sauce has on D.C. culture.

WUSA9 also explored the history of go-go music, a genre unique to DC and created by the late Chuck Brown, with DJ Rico and Andre ‘Whiteboy’ Johnson from Rare Essence.

RELATED: This black woman opened a blow-dry bar to serve people with all hair textures #ForTheCulture

From painting to singing, many people showed their creativity and talents.

Lonnie Bee, a DC native who gained popularity on social media, has a large personality and uses his platform to inspire and uplift others.

Researchers and historians helped peel back the pages of history to give viewers a better sense of who black people in DC are.

The University of Delaware made a collection of photographs depicting unknown black people from the late 19th and early 20th century public after conducting a research project.

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Students and researchers from Howard University are using bones from deceased African-American people to find solutions to health disparities that have plagued the black community for generations.

Daily realities about identity expressed on social media sparked a dialogue about the differences between being labeled black, African-American, or a person of color.

Individuals shared personal stories about how they overcame challenges in their lives and created better futures for themselves.

Many of those interviewed in the ‘For the Culture’ segment who experienced success or some sort of advancement in life demonstrated how they were helping to lift other up along the way.

RELATED: Cost of living contributes to ‘intense’ level of displacement in DC

The District has faced the most intense level of gentrification, and African-American families are being disproportionately displaced.

The ‘For the Culture’ segment is one tool to help spark conversations across our communities to help bridge some gaps and forge paths toward more positivity, diversity, and inclusion.


If you know someone or a topic that should be featured in our ‘For the Culture’ segment, email Michael Quander at mquander@wusa9.com or send him a direct message on Twitter or Instagram. 

Credit: wusa9