Young and Hungry

There’s No ‘V’ in Langston Hughes, But There’s Langston Hughes on V

Last month, a law went into effect that officially adds the name "Langston Hughes Way" to the stretch of V Street between 13th and 14th streets NW. It's the part of V that bisects the original Busboys & Poets and the forthcoming Eatonville restaurant, so of course owner Andy Shallal had a hand in the renaming.

Shallal has been working to get the District to do more to honor the Harlem Renaissance—and D.C.'s contribution to that important era. Shallal's expanding Busboys & Poet chain already pays tribute to poet Hughes (who, according to lore, was "discovered" while working as a busboy in D.C., never mind that his work already had been published), but the restaurateur wants more. He was talking to Jim Graham about what the city could do, and the Ward 1Councilmember suggested the name change for V Street.

The council passed Graham's bill in December, and it went into effect on March 21.

The street signs, however, have not been updated.

Shallal thinks the city may wait until the fall to unveil the new name for V Street. It could coincide with a possible Harlem Renaissance festival on U Street in late September, when the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation also hosts its Annual Legislative Conference in D.C.

More as we know it.

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