City Desk

Our Morning Roundup: D.C. Was Cool In The ’70s

I was born in 1973. According to last night's hour-long WETA documentary, Washington in the '70s, I missed a golden time that included the birth of home rule and go-go, Petey Greene, and Marion Barry before he sold out. Even more remarkable, the documentary showed that there was a time when the District's own residents galvanized across racial and class lines, and protested serious issues.

Can you imagine a highway running down U Street? Can you imagine another highway cutting up most of Dupont Circle? Both were possible. Both were planned. And both never happened because District residents stood up, organized, and protested.

When was the last time District residents stood up for something?

There are plenty of issues worth organizing around. The AIDS rate is still really bad. The District's unemployment rate reached 12.1 percent in December. The DeOnte Rawlings case still stinks. And we have a mayor who won't hold weekly press conferences (that's for journalists to protest).

The other big event from yesterday....Prince of Petworth's reporting that Polly's has closed. The bar will be missed.

And a lot of people have been stabbed inside the D.C. Jail.

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  • Left for LeDroit

    Before Marion Barry sold out? Actually, Marion Barry sold out in the 1970s when he decided to run for office. He ditched his street activist tone to cozy up with the establishment of white liberals and white business interests.


    I graduated from Wilson Senior High in 1973. Yes, the seventies were a different time in history with great music from the Delfonics, Blue Magic, Looking Glass, Chicago, Stylistics, Moments, Curtis Mayfield. During the seventies, Wilson High was one of the best public schools in the District of Columbia. There use to be many protests in Dupont Circle on different issues, particularly the Vietnam War.

    If it were possible, I wish I could go back into time and relive the 70's as a student at Wilson Senior High and Howard University. So many people I know have since passed away. My first child was born in 1978 and I was married.

  • eli

    Wow, I wish they stood up for North Capital St.