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     Although African Americans were a significant portion of the population when a site in the mid Atlantic area was selected as the location of a capitol city for the newly emergent nation, it could not have been anticipated that they would come to play such an important role in the city’s development. Two centuries later, African Americans are the dominant population group. As the capital city celebrates its bicentennial, HUArchivesNet focuses on an examination of its Black community. This editor’s essay, "The Dusk of Civil War to the Dawn of Civil Rights: Blacks in the Nation’s Capital," is intended to provide a general introduction to the Black presence in the city. Essays by Jeffrey Fearing and Donald Roe provide much evidence of African American development in the first half of the twentieth century. Fearing analyzes the uniqueness of the Scurlock studio and its impact in capturing the enduring strength of African American families, civic groups and community activities. Roe illustrates the impact and importance of education to Black development and its role in strengthening community bonds and resisting the ravages of segregation. The Gallery features images of Black life in Washington during the early twentieth century, and a range of resources are featured which will aid those who are interested in exploring the myriad aspects of the city’s development. Collectively, the resources reflected in this issue should do much to broaden the understanding of the seminal role that Black American’s have played in the illustrious history of one of the world’s most important cities.

     The editorial staff wishes to extend its sincere appreciation to Dr. Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, Director of the Public History Program in the History Department of Howard University, for serving as Guest Editor of this issue, to Ms. Donna M. Wells for serving as this issue's coordinator, and to our contributors for their articles, essays and other submissions.

Thomas C. Battle, Ph.D.
Moorland-Spingarn Research Center


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November 2000