Washington, DC is the place where it is always interesting to be, to listen to other people conversions, and to enjoy the sights offered to the tourists, and Neighborhood Heritage Trails provides people with a number of magnificent opportunities to understand better the nature of the place and get involved into its rich history.
I took the Mid-City at the Crossroads: Shaw Heritage Trail for several reasons: my past was closely connected to this place, and my task was to choose the place rich in history.
While traveling this trail I recall some places I visited and never knew the history behind it. The stories of African American people serve the basis of the neighborhood as well as inabilities of people of God to get affordable homes, cope with racial inequalities and immigrant challenges.
Though our history is rich in magnificent achievements, amazing discoveries, and memorable dates, it is crucially important to remember about the dark side of the way to success and admit the challenges and problems which had to be overcome by ordinary people who built our history.
One of the major arguments claimed by the trail creator was about Shaw, a neighborhood built for native citizens and for newcomers to become their home. For a long period of time, this neighborhood was mostly a rural part of the city. The Seventh Street was the first street where the first roads appeared.
This street is known as the one that connected many significant parts at the same time: Maryland farms, Pennsylvania Center Market, and Washington docks. Within a short period, the Seventh Street was preoccupied with numerous stores and shops which promoted the market industry and provided various people with the same opportunities to achieve success in life and business.
Many doctors and shopkeepers got chances to live in three-story buildings. These buildings became their homes as well as their business centers. It was convenient, cheap, and effective. However, a number of changes and challenges appeared during the Civil War. Citizens who could not find good job were eager to join the rebellion troops and deserve the place under the sun.
The brave colonel Robert Gould Shaw tried to achieve justice during the war and help weak and poor people to be respected, still, in his attempt to conquer Fort Wager, he was killed. His image became a holy point in the history and the name for the place, where people tried to win inequality the way Mr. Shaw tried.
There are several subjects of the tour, and each piece of the story I heard was an amazing travel to the past where our history and our lives were developed. Still, the most amazing fact that touched my mind and my soul was the one about the nature of the district I was in. Shaw is always considered as the place between many other places. It was a kind of motto for our trip during which this phrase was supported many times.
There are several proofs for the chosen argument, and almost all of them are connected with our history: black people got chances to live in accordance with their own principles and interests in the chosen district; a number of migrants were able to find protection in this place.
When I passed through such places like Feker Sound, Lettie Gooch Boutique, or Wagtime Pet Spa, I cannot help but wonder how people tried to survive on these streets many years ago, prove that they were always worth of being the members of the chosen society, and win the Civil War that cause so many unjustified deaths.
Being a place between places, Shaw served as the Metro station during the Civil War. Shiloh Baptist Church was the place where free blacks were able to find safe protection. In spite of the fact that the churched was destroyed several times, human desire and abilities helped to rebuild and save the building for a long period of time.
To get prepared for the trail around the Shaw neighborhood, the class has been reading over the material so I decided to take a look for myself. After the Civil War, there were still a number of events and challenges which proved a true nature of the place with its attempts to fight inequality and injustice.
Carter Woodson was one of the brightest figures at the beginning of the 1900s. Still, there were no explanations of why Woodson made a decision to devote the rest of his life to historical researches and the place of black people in American history during the tour, I know a lot about the activities of this man.
On the other hand, the author of the trail leaves some issues which, in my opinion, remain to be of critical importance for the tour. I was also deeply touched with the story about Martin Luther King and his assassination that had a considerable impact on people and the neighborhood. When the news that Dr. King was killed spread, so many people gathered around the 14th, U streets, H, and Seventh Streets.
On the vast majority of the streets of the district, people started their protests to close various businesses and stop activities to honor the life of this amazing influential person. In Stokely Carmichael’s mind what he was doing was beneficial for him and the black race. It would have never gotten out hand if the hatred wasn’t in people’s minds and heart.
The trail is properly laid out, and it was not very difficult to navigate the tour. There are 17 historical points which have to be visited, and the chosen tour is organized in the way that it is not only easy to follow but always interesting to find and forecast what kind of story could be presented.
I truly believe that such types of tours like I managed to visit turn out to be rather helpful for people to learn about history. Mid-City at the Crossroads: Shaw Heritage Trail is a good lesson to remember for a long period of time and to understand how rich and memorable American history is and how devoted people of any race, culture, and age could be.