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Chocolate CityA History of Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital$
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Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469635866

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469635866.001.0001

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There’s Gonna Be Flames, There’s Gonna Be Fighting, There’s Gonna Be Rebellion!

There’s Gonna Be Flames, There’s Gonna Be Fighting, There’s Gonna Be Rebellion!

The Tumult and Promise of Chocolate City, 1968–1978

(p.355) Twelve There’s Gonna Be Flames, There’s Gonna Be Fighting, There’s Gonna Be Rebellion!
Chocolate City

Chris Myers Asch

George Derek Musgrove

University of North Carolina Press

The chapter charts the decade between the April 1968 riots and Marion Barry’s victory in the 1978 mayoral election. The nation’s capital witnessed a remarkable political revolution during this unpredictable period of citizen-driven politics, cultural and political experimentation, and swift change. D.C. gained a measure of local power for the first time in nearly a century, and Washingtonians of all races – including a growing Hispanic community in the Adams Morgan/Mount Pleasant neighborhoods – pushed for self-determination, community control, and participatory democracy. The transformation was tumultuous, marked by devastating riots, surging crime, and middle-class flight from the city. Politics was often uncivil and chaotic as Washingtonians struggled to be heard in a clamorous era marked by attacks on authorities – Congress, the police, city planners, developers, and others. But for city residents unused to local political power – and particularly for black Washingtonians – it was a thrilling, hopeful time.

Keywords:   Riots, Self-determination, Community control, Crime, Black power, Home rule, Democracy

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