Shaw’s history is that of D.C.’s center of Black economic, cultural, and social activity. The neighborhood began as a freed person’s encampment and grew to become D.C.’s “Black Broadway” that pre-dates the Harlem Renaissance. Shaw experienced a dramatic decay after the 1968 riots and an equally dramatic gentrification that started with the construction of D.C.’s Convention Center and continued post-Great Recession. It’s location proximate to downtown D.C. and cultural history has led to a real estate boom that is sometimes an awkward and inequitable representation of Shaw’s past and present.
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