Arts Desk

Head-Roc’s Mouth: “DCPS Is Under Attack!”

rebuild

An occasional feature in which esteemed D.C. rapper Head-Roc shares what’s on his mind.

Bruce-Monroe Elementary School, located at Georgia Avenue and Irving Street NW, is now rubble. A school that once educated Chocolate City’s young minds, even in an extremely deteriorated state after decades of legislative neglect, even after a recent $3 million renovation, is now nothing more than a dozen or more mountains of concrete, brick, and steel debris.

DCPS is under attack!/By the same discrimination from way, way back!

Bruce-Monroe was loved by the neighborhood where it used to be located. At a rally I attended organized by parents who had been promised a new Bruce-Monroe would be built on the same site, I heard endearing testimony from three generations of Petworth residents that attended the school.

They don’t like what we affirm when we act/So ever since integration, public education is way off track/Derailed by political acts…

Bruce-Monroe is the victim of a broken promise that was never intended to be kept.

City officials thought they could outfox the very involved parents of a school strategically located along one of Chocolate City’s grandest avenues. How I understand it, and I’m paraphrasing, several years ago the Adrian Fenty administration announced it wanted to close Bruce-Monroe along with a slew of other D.C. public schools. The parents at Bruce-Monroe immediately organized and fought to keep their school open. The city told the parents it would only close Bruce-Monroe to demolish it, and then build a new Bruce-Monroe on the same site. The parents weren’t going for it, and so they fought to keep their recently renovated and badly needed community-serving elementary school from being bulldozed. They were unsuccessful.

candles

bikeThe pictures above are from a rally last Friday organized by Bruce-Monroe parents to demonstratively tell their fellow citizens and city officials that they want their school back–and they want it back at the same location. There is a hearing tomorrow at the Wilson Building where they will “Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances” to get their wants fulfilled. And so to support the movement, the following track is dedicated to the families of Bruce-Monroe Elementary School and all families in Chocolate City, past and present, that have had their lives changed against their wishes despite living in the throne room of democracy, our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.


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  • Manor

    I'm struck by the reference to Georgia as "one of Chocolate City’s grandest avenues." While Georgia is indeed a heart of Chocolate City (black DC), it has not been grand since the riots I would say. The character of many of the people along Georgia is indeed grand, though countered by many people who are not, and the avenue itself has long been in decay.

  • KC

    In looking at the school boundaries, how do you figure this school served three generations of Petworth residents? Pleasant Plains and Park View sure, but Petworth would have been served by other schools.

  • Grandy

    We don't need another school, just rehab Park View and be done with it.

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