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Only-in-DC African American Experiences

From the newest national memorial to U Street, DC is infused with African American history.

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There are dozens of unforgettable experiences that you can only find in DC. Here are a few of our favorites, many of which are particularly significant to the District’s African American residents and visitors:

Sit in on a groundbreaking Supreme Court decision.

Visit the National Mall to follow the footsteps of those who marched in 1995’s Million Man March, led by Louis Farrakhan.

See the original Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and Emancipation Proclamation at the National Archives.

Sit in the hotel lobby where Martin Luther King, Jr. crafted his “I Have a Dream” speech, then stand in the spot where he delivered his famous words. Then, visit the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the Tidal Basin. The memorial features a statue of the famous civil rights leader flanked by a wall featuring inscriptions of some of Dr. King's most famous quotes.

Search for a loved one’s name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Stroll the historic campus of Howard University, where many notable African Americans made their mark, and Gallaudet University, where the football huddle was invented.

Grab a soul food meal at Florida Avenue Grill or a “half-smoke” at Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street, the site of the 1985 press conference where Bill Cosby announced that “The Cosby Show,” had become the first-ever African American show in the country to be rated as #1.

DC's most recognizable monument, the Washington Monument, stands at the top of the National Mall. Visitors, school groups, runners and locals live in its shadow every day.
DC's most recognizable monument, the Washington Monument, stands at the top of the National Mall. Visitors, school groups, runners and locals live in its shadow every day.
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