Best Place to See D.C.’s Diversity in Action

Malcolm X Park drum circle
Malcolm X (Meridian Hill) Park, Washington, DC

A middle-aged black guy is educating disciples on drum rhythms while the white woman at his elbow is trying to get her groove on. A Latino guy comes through the crowd hawking water, brushing past a couple of tourists gawking at it all—the throbbing din, the dancing, the dust. Oh yes, it must be spring—drumming in Malcolm X Park is back. Still going strong after 40 years, all it takes is a Sunday afternoon above 60 degrees, and music aficionados of every stripe show up. Unlike just about anywhere else in D.C., this is one event that is genuinely diverse, unscripted, and unpretentious. While some of the old-timers might be a little territorial about who gets to join the drum circle itself, the overall atmosphere is mellow and welcoming.

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