By Angie Whitehurst
A Right to the City is a timely exhibition and comes at a pivotal moment for the nation's capital as our neighborhoods experience rapid and profound transformations. Developed under the direction of chief curator Dr. Samir Meghelli, the exhibition highlights the stories of six Washington neighborhoods and the unsung heroes that have shaped them. Using our renowned community documentation methods including recording nearly two hundred new oral histories and cutting-edge museum design, this exhibition transports visitors into moments that made our city's history. A Right to the City gives us an opportunity to reflect upon the evolution of our beloved D.C. and leaves us with important questions about its future. -from Anacostia Community Museum
On Friday, April 20, the Anacostia Community Museum held the opening night of the Right to the City exhibit. The exhibit is awesome because it shows the grassroots, as we the real people, and not just the symbolically famous. Topper Carew's photographs realistically captures the soulful emotions of everyday life, the painful struggles, the unity of standing together under duress, the joy of simple pleasures of just being together, and the inequity of urban designated zip codes called poverty, homelessness, and ethnically contained "ghettos." This is a silent theme left for the visitor to see, hear, and feel throughout the sensitively, beautifully designed exhibit.
My favorite exhibit is the wall with nostalgic flyers and poster from the years before the now 21st Century. It was a walk through memory lane. Flyers from ONE DC events and campaigns mixed with community event and campaign flyers of the late Marion Barry, Hilda Mason, Josephine Butler, and many others. ONE DC's Dominic Moulden is featured in a video speaking on organizing in the Shaw neighborhood. We will be planning a special ONE DC member visit to the exhibit. Stay tuned for more details!