CrossTalk DC Conversations: A History of Housing Covenants

Friday, June 17, 2016, 6:00 pm
Folger Theatre
Free, reservations required

Associate Professor Maurice Jackson, of Georgetown University’s History Department and African American Studies Program, and historian Mara Cherkasky, co-founder of Prologue DC and Mapping Segregation in Washington DC, discuss the historic use of racially restrictive housing covenants in DC.

Mara Cherkasky is a historian focusing on Washington DC, co-founder of Prologue DC, LLC, and one of three collaborators on the ongoing public history project Mapping Segregation in Washington DC. Other current projects include a historic district nomination for DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood, in collaboration with the DC Historic Preservation Office; oral history interviews with the area’s Yiddish speakers for the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington; an exhibition and book for the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum; and creation of an archives for James Reese Europe American Legion Post 5, in collaboration with American University. She recently completed a centennial history of the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia, and, while on staff with Cultural Tourism DC, helped produce a dozen Neighborhood Heritage Trails and managed the city’s African American Heritage Trail. Mara has a Master’s degree in American Studies from George Washington University.

Professor Maurice Jackson, Ph.D., teaches history, African American Studies, and Jazz at Georgetown University. Among the former longshoreman and community organizer’s many accomplishments are Let This Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism (2009, author), African-Americans and the Haitian Revolution (2010, co-editor), and Quakers and Their Allies in the Abolitionist Cause, 1754-1808 (2015, co-editor). Halfway to Freedom: African Americans and the Struggle for Social Progress in Washington, D.C. is in the works. Professor Jackson has also published numerous articles, including, in the journal Washington History, “Washington, D.C.: From the Founding of a Slaveholding Capital to a Center of Abolitionism” (2013) and “Great Black Music and the Desegregation of Washington, D.C.,” the latter for a special issue on Jazz in D.C. for which he served as co-editor (2014). Professor Jackson was a 2009 inductee into the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame, and Mayor Vincent Gray appointed him as the first chair of the D.C. Commission on African American Affairs in 2013.

This program is one part of a nation-wide initiative, Humanities in the Public Square, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and aimed at fostering meaningful dialogue in communities about the most pressing issues of the day.