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The Rise of DC’s Black Intelligentsia: Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Dunbar-Nelson in LeDroit Park

In-Person Program

Weekend Tour

Saturday, October 22, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET
Code: 1CSC03
Tour meets at the plaza of the UNCP
Knowledge Center, 1815 7th St NW
Washington, DC
Metro: Shaw-Howard University
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Materials for this program

Please Note: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for participation on all tours; additionally, current CDC and Smithsonian COVID-19 guidelines (at the time of the tour) will be followed.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Northwest Washington’s LeDroit Park neighborhood, initially developed as an early all-white suburb outside the original boundaries of Washington City, became home to the city’s most prominent African American residents.

Join author and literary historian Kim Roberts on a walking tour that follows the lives of Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first African American to gain national eminence as a poet, and his wife, poet and activist Alice Dunbar-Nelson. Visits to the sites of the Dunbars’ two D.C. homes tell the story of their accomplishments, unhappy marriage, and Paul’s early death.

Stops at the homes of eminent neighbors Robert and Mary Church Terrell, Christian and Sara Fleetwood, James E. Walker, and Anna Julia Cooper offer insights into the lives of other African American intelligentsia who were drawn to LeDroit Park and the surrounding Shaw neighborhood in the years between the end of the Civil War and World War I. Other tour sites include the Dunbar Theater in the Southern Aid Society Building, T Street’s Howard Theater, and Lucy Diggs Slowe Hall at Howard University.

Date Options

General Information

  • Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Friday, October 21, 2022.
  • Tour begins and ends at the Shaw-Howard University Metro station, meeting at the plaza of the UNCP Knowledge Center, 1815 7th St, NW. (Metro: Shaw-Howard University on the Green and Yellow lines; exit on Howard University side)
  • For additional tour information: