Justice vs. Injustice

Justice vs. Injustice (HMFMG)

Location: Washington, DC 20009
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 55.429', W 77° 1.774'

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Cultural Convergence

— Columbia Heights Heritage Trail —

These elegant 13th Street Houses were constructed when racial separation was legal and widely accepted. In 1910 the deeds for many houses across 13th Street had covenants banning "any negro or colored persons." Those on this side generally did not have the covenants.

By the 1930s, 13th Street divided black from white. Then, in 1941, African American educator Mary Hundley and her husband Frederick bought 2530 13th Street, on the white side, despite its restrictive covenant. Hundley was the granddaughter of William Syphax, founder of the nation's (and Washington's) first public high school for African Americans. White neighbors successfully sued the Hundleys for breaking the covenant, but a higher court overturned the ruling. In 1948 the U.S. Supreme cited the Hundley case when it decreed racially restrictive covenants unenforceable.

Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan once lived a block away, at 14th and Euclid Streets. In 1896 Harlan was the only justice to dissent when the Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that "separate but equal" facilities were constitutional. That ruling helped justify the racially restrictive housing covenants that the Hundley case helped end.

Economic discrimination spurred further activism in the 1970s. Protesters rallied for low-income tenants of houses subdivided into apartments who faced eviction by speculators seeking to convert their homes into condominiums.

Across Euclid Street from this sign is number 1236, once the Afro-American Institute for Historic Preservation and Community Development. Established in 1970 by Robert and Vincent DeForest, the institute helped obtain National Historic Landmark status for more than 60 African American historic sites across the nation.
Marker Number9 of 19
Year Placed2009
Placed ByCultural Touism DC
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 2:43am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 324060 N 4310280
Decimal Degrees38.92381667, -77.02956667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 55.429', W 77° 1.774'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 55' 25.74" N, 77° 1' 46.44" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1277-1299 Euclid St NW, Washington DC 20009, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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