National Park Service In the Neighborhood

Shaw Row HomesOk, so I am really excited about this. As of today, the Carter G. Woodson House, located just feet from where I live in Shaw, is now owned by the National Park Service. The NPS plans to renovate the home and several adjacent homes (seen to the right) to build a visitors center and open the house to the public. As I understand it, this has been a long time coming. The buildings have been vacant for many years, and Dr. Woodson’s story is one that deserves to be told. This news from Shaw Main Streets:

Join National Park Service Director Fran Mainella as she officially announces the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site as the 389th unit of the National Park Service system, on Monday, February 27, 2006 at 1:00 PM in front of the Woodson House, located at 1538 9th Street, NW. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes-Norton and Executive Director of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Sylvia Cyrus Albritton, will present remarks. The public is welcome, and no reservations are required.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson successfully established African American history as an academic discipline and fought to counter the commonly held belief that African Americans had made little or no contribution to the development of the American national narrative. In 1926, Woodson established Negro History Week (now African American History Month). In 1915, this Harvard-trained historian and DC Public Schools teacher, founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). In 1922, he moved his operations to 1538 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC, living and working in that row house until his death in 1950.

First introduced in 2001 by Washington, DC, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and signed into law December 19, 2003, by the United States President, Public Law 108-192 authorized the National Park Service to take ownership of Dr. Woodson’s Washington, DC, located in the historic Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC. This area has been called the “Heart of Black Washington” and numerous buildings of historical and cultural significance are located within walking distance.

Author: Rob Goodspeed