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Anacostia News

Real talk about affordability in DC

Jae Alan




Growing up in Columbia Heights, we had people of all different income levels living side by side in our community. From doctors to auto mechanics to plumbers, if you worked hard and played by the rules, you could make it in our city.

Today, that is sadly not the case. If my parents didn’t pass our home to me and my sister, there is no way we would be able to afford a townhouse in Columbia Heights today. That’s not right!

Our seniors need to be able to age in place and have the amenities to keep their quality of life. Our parents need to be assured that they can afford a house big enough for all of their children. And our millennials need to know that they can purchase a home and start a family here in the District.

This is not just about doing what is right for our residents; it is about doing what is best for our city. If the District of Columbia is going to truly thrive, we need to be a place where a diverse group of people can afford to live.

I’m running for DC Council, so we can have someone at the table that is going to ensure we all don’t get priced out of our city. We can bring in new residents and ensure those living here can afford to remain at the same time.

In just over a week on December 11, we have to publicly report our fundraising numbers for the first time. We need to show the strength of our movement and we can only do that with your help.

Please consider chipping in and making a donation by clicking on the button below. With your support, we can win this race and do big things for all of us on the issue of affordability here in the District.

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Anacostia News

Hundreds gather at Frederick Douglass home for bicentennial

Jae Alan



WASHINGTON — The grand bicentennial kickoff on Saturday at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in historic Anacostia in Washington, D.C., drew more than 300 guests to the formal ceremony, with hundreds more visiting during the Presidents Day weekend to celebrate the former slave turned statesman, journalist and activist.

During his keynote address, Kenneth B. Morris Jr., the third great-grandson of Frederick Douglass and co-founder and president of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, announced the yearlong distribution of 1 million free hardcover copies of the bicentennial edition of “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” in honor of Douglass’ 200th birthday. (

“We’re going to make sure that Frederick Douglass inspires,” noted Morris. “We’re living at a time when we need the words of Frederick Douglass. We need the unifying spirit of the great abolitionist.”

Democratic Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District of Columbia, as a third-generation Washingtonian reflected fondly on the advocacy of “The Lion of Anacostia.”

“Frederick Douglass was so local that he is current,” said the congresswoman. “When a man’s words and actions survive him for 200 years, he becomes immortal — and you spend an entire year, as we will, dedicated to the immortal life and legacy of Frederick Douglass.”

The words of the legendary orator roused the audience to sustained applause when the student winners of the 2017 Frederick Douglass Oratorical Contest presented powerful speech excerpts during the ceremony.

Chase McClure recited “I Speak to You as an American Citizen,” Aneesh Mandapati delivered “The Right to Criticize American Institutions” and Silas Montgomery recounted “I Denounce the So-Called Emancipation as a Tremendous Fraud.”

Read more HERE

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Anacostia News

Yearlong celebration honors ‘life and legacy’ of Frederick Douglass

Jae Alan



WASHINGTON — The National Park Service kicked off a yearlong celebration Sunday honoring the “Life and Legacy” of Frederick Douglass on the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Douglass was a prominent abolitionist, orator and statesman who was born into slavery in 1818. He escaped to freedom 20 years later.

“He was an abolitionist, civil rights activist, social rights, equality, women’s rights hero. He fought for equality for everyone,” said Pya Langley, a spokeswoman with the National Park Service.

Douglass always thought his birthday was on Valentine’s Day “because his mother referred to him as her little valentine,” said Langley.

Langley said records show Douglass was actually born on Feb. 17, 1818.

“Frederick Douglass (moved) to this Anacostia neighborhood when he (was) 59-years-old,” she said.

Douglass and his wife Anna Murray Douglass were married for 44 years. His wife died five years after moving into their D.C. home.

Douglass married Helen Pitts Douglass 18 months later.

Read full story HERE

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Anacostia News

“SPREAD SOUTHSIDE LOVE” Mural featuring Frederick Douglass and his friends

Jae Alan



SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2017 – 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

“SPREAD SOUTHSIDE LOVE” Mural featuring Frederick Douglass and his friends

16th & W STREET SE [2200 16th Street SE] 

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HISTORIC ANCOSTIA, WASHINGTON, D.C.: During the week leading to the birthday celebration muralist Rebeka Ryvola has been working with community members to install a new mural honoring Frederick Douglass and his friends at the newly renovated corner store at 16th and W Street SE, down the street from the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

Ephrame Kassaye, the new owner of the corner store, has supported an effort to create an honorific and community-based mural on the 16th Street SE side of his building, similar to the mural of the 1963 March on Washington on the side of a building he owns at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Mellon Street in Congress Heights.

The mural, “Spread Southside Love,” re-creates an imaginary Sunday literary salon on the back lawn of Cedar Hill. Captured in the public artwork is the historic home, Anacostia River, DC Capitol and Washington Monument in the background.

Douglass is joined by friends and contemporaries, including radical abolitionist John Brown, activist lawyer and the first black graduate of Harvard Richard Greener, journalist and Civil Rights leader and suffragette Ida Wells, first African American to serve a full-term in the United States Senate Blanche K. Bruce, abolitionist and Douglass mentor Wendell Phillips, and groundbreaking journalist Grace Greenwood, seen playing baseball with a number of modern day neighborhood children. A young person serenades the gathering with the violin.

Ryvola, who has worked with the Anacostia Watershed Society, will finish the mural installation on Saturday, February 17.

For more information on the mural visit

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