Feb 15, 2023 - News

In photos: Black History in the nation's capital

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X after a press conference at thje U.S. Capitol about Senate debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X after a press conference at the U.S. Capitol about the Senate debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, March 26, 1964. Photo: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Black Americans have always lived in Washington, D.C. They'd also come to the nation's capital to demand civil rights, equal treatment, and promises outlined in the Constitution.

Through the lens: These photos show the role Washington played in Black history from the time when formerly enslaved people came to meet presidents to moments of triumph.

Dinner at the White House with President Teddy Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington, Oct. 17th, 1901.

Dinner given at the White House by President Teddy Roosevelt to Booker T. Washington, October 17th, 1901.
Photo: David J. & Janice L. Frent/Corbis via Getty Images

More than 3,000 Black demonstrators, carrying signs urging a stop to lynching, join a protest on the streets of Washington, D.C., on June 24, 1922.

More than 3,000 Black demonstrators carrying signs urging the halting of lynching, join a protest on the streets of Washington, D.C. in 1922.
Photo: Bettmann Archives via Getty Images

Singer and actor Paul Robeson stands before the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, where he later read the Emancipation Proclamation, on Sept. 24, 1946.

Singer and actor Paul Robeson stands before the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial.
Photo: Bettmann Archives via Getty Images

President John F. Kennedy signs a bill making abolitionist Frederick Douglass' D.C. home a part of the National Capital Parks system and a national monument.

President John F. Kennedy signs a bill making the Washington home of abolitionist Frederick Douglass a part of the National Capital Park System and a National Monument.
Kennedy shaking hands with civil rights activist Rosa Slade Gragg after he signed the bill she had championed to preserve the Douglass home. Photo: Bettmann Archives via Getty Images

Richard Perry Loving, a white construction worker, and his wife, Mildred, in Washington, D.C., after the Supreme Court overturned state laws banning interracial marriages, June 12, 1967. The Lovings were plaintiffs in the landmark case.

Richard Perry Loving, a white construction worker and his Black American wife, Mildred, in Washington, D.C.
Photo: Bettmann Archives via Getty Images

A Negro League game between the home team Homestead Grays versus the New York Black Yankees at Griffith Stadium, Washington D.C., 1940. Running to first is Hall of Famer Buck Leonard. The first baseman is James Stark.

Negro League game between the home team Homestead Grays versus the New York Black Yankees at Griffith Stadium, Washington DC, 1940.
Photo: Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

Women from North Carolina, including civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune, at a meeting of the National Council of Negro Women, Washington D.C., October 1949.

Women from North Carolina, including civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune, at a meeting of the African American advocacy and professional group National Council of Negro Women, Washington DC
Photo: Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images

Smoke from the riots in Washington, D.C., following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., April 1968.

Smoke from the riots in Washington, DC, following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 1968.
Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-Texas) delivers her opening remarks on July 25, 1974, during the House Judiciary Committee's hearings on the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

Congresswoman Barbara Jordan delivers her opening remarks on July 25, 1974, during the House Judiciary Committee's hearings on the issue of the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.
Photo: Bettmann Archives via Getty Images

Washington quarterback Doug Williams turns to handoff to a running back against the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Championship Game, Jan. 17, 1988, at RFK Stadium. Williams would become the first Black QB to win a Super Bowl.

Doug Williams, of QB the Washington Football Team, turns to handoff to a running back against the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Championship Game January 17, 1988 at RFK Stadium.
Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images
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