An Old Dividing Line in Arlington

TBD covers what was once a “Segregation Wall” in Arlington:

Decades ago, before schools, hospitals and other public spaces were integrated in Arlington, a bunch of white homeowners were increasingly wary of the growing population of African-Americans living in Hall’s Hill. And so one by one, they piled cinder blocks or built high wood fences behind their homes and those of their backyard neighbors.

Eventually, the wall was one continuous barrier between the south-facing homes on 17th Street, owned by white families, and the north facing ones on 17th Road and 18th Street, owned by black families. That same strip now serves as the dividing line between two civic associations: John M. Langston to the north and Waycroft-Woodlawn to the south.

It’s amazing to sit in this currently (for now!) majority-minority city and imagine a time when public spaces were segregated by law. Not that they are all wonderfully integrated now, but the reason why certain Clarendon bars don’t resemble a Benetton ad is because of…personal preference, mostly.