Approximately ten years ago we were able to adjust our schedule to allow for a trek to D.C. We picked the last week in August to commemorate and pay homage to the March on Washington. Each trek allows us to visit usual sites and reconnect with friends and over the years we seek out new venues to add to our journey. During our 2018 five-day stay here are several of the sites we visited.
March on Washington Commemoration
Even though the original event was held at the Lincoln Memorial, ever since the MLK memorial was erected activities have shifted there.
Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History & Culture
The NMAAHC continues to be a jewel at the national mall. This year our focus was visiting the new Oprah Winfrey exhibit as well as witness the musical rendition commemorating the murder of Emmett Till.
We added to new venue to this year’s trek; seeing the portraits of President Obama and First Lady Michelle at the National Portrait Gallery
The Obama’s left the White House in January 2017, so this year we added a visit to see their new residence. Due to high security you will not be able to walk down the street but it is located in the Northwest section of the District. The street on Belmont Road is one way and barricaded. If you are familiar with the Dupont Circle neighborhood, it is northwest (lots of embassies and larger properties). Of course, there is secret service on watch to ensure privacy
Anacostia is located in what is known as Southeast. The Anacostia river separates the main part of the District and this area. Many who visit the District miss visiting this community for various reasons. No doubt, it has been stigmatized due to poverty and other elements which foster negativity. But, for those who truly seek hidden jewels, even that will not stop them for trekking through the community.
The Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum has an outstanding exhibit to help you better understand how communities all over the District were transformed following de-segregation.
Barry Farms is a historic part of Anacostia where African-Americans took up residence. Although much of the community has fallen on hard times and you can see some tough images or extreme poverty, there are still many historic sites you can see. Similar to many communities scattered throughout the United States the community is made up of regular hard-working, law abiding folk. The biggest issue is feeling safe as you venture throughout the community, so while people are people it is not the type of place you just wander about without precautions or maintaining common-sense.
Inside the Barry Farms community is the legendary Goodman leagues outdoor basketball complex. It is world-renowned for its fierce competition featuring some of the best hoop action in the region. Many professional basketball players (those currently playing or those retired or no longer playing) make this a regular stop to mix-it up with regular neighborhood stars. The complex is a testament of how committed people focus on positive attributes to create sacred zones that many communities would love to have.