Working for the Race

Working for the Race (HM21VW)

Location: Washington, DC 20001
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 54.656', W 77° 1.431'

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Midcity at the Crossroads

—Shaw Heritage Trail —

Carter G. Woodson, The Father of Black History, worked and lived at 1538 Ninth Street from 1912 until 1950. The son of formerly enslaved people. Woodson received a Ph.D. from Harvard, and became an acclaimed scholar, educator, and advocate. He founded the Association for the Study of Negro (now African American) Life and History and the Associated Publishers and organized Negro History Week (Later Black History Month). He wrote The Mis-Education of American Negro, the landmark textbook The Negro in Our History, and other ground-breaking works. Because he often walked here carrying stacks of books, local schoolchildren dubbed him "bookman."

Poet Langston Hughes briefly worked here for Woodson, and many of his poems captured local working-class African American life. In The Big Sea (1940) he wrote: "I tried to write poems like the songs they sang on Seventh Street."

The house to your right at 817 Q Street was once the Washington headquarters of the International Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Founded in 1925 by A. Philip Randolph, the IBSCP was the nation's first and largest black trade union. Some 12,000 members — highly skilled porters, attendants, and maids — all worked for the Pullman Palace Car Company. In 1925 Pullman was the nation's largest employer
of African Americans. The IBSCP published The Messenger, battling discrimination practiced by most American labor unions. In 1938 female relatives of union members founded the International Ladies' Auxiliary.

Much of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was planned at 817 Q Street by Randolph, along with Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin.
HM NumberHM21VW
Placed ByShaw Heritage Trail
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 at 7:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 324523 N 4308839
Decimal Degrees38.91093333, -77.02385000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 54.656', W 77° 1.431'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 54' 39.36" N, 77° 1' 25.86" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202, 703
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1551 9th St NW, Washington DC 20001, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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