Thompson’s restaurant once served up fast, cheap meals—everything from smoked boiled tongue to cold salmon sandwiches. Today, there’s nothing in downtown D.C. to show that the then-popular restaurant chain even had a location at 725 14th Street Northwest in the 1950s. The space is now filled by a CVS drug store. Across the street, there’s an upscale barbershop, and on the corner at the intersection of 14th and New York Avenue, a Starbucks is currently under construction.
For African-American travelers in the Jim Crow-era South—often journeying from the north to visit relatives who had not joined the Great Migration—an unprepossessing paper-bound travel guide often amounted to a survival kit. The Green Book often functioned as a lifesaver.
Continue reading “Driving While Black” Has Been Around As Long As Cars Have Existed
During her decades-long political career, Shirley Chisholm established a lot of firsts. A community activist and educator-turned-congresswoman from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant in New York, Chisholm became the first black woman ever to be elected to the House of Representatives and a founding member of both the Congressional Black Caucus and later, the Congressional Women’s Caucus. But perhaps most significantly, just a few years after arriving in Congress, Chisholm became the first black person–and first woman–to run as a major party candidate for president of the United States, breaking down barriers and paving a path for people like President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.