Author Archives: Anna

DCentric was created to examine the ways race and class interact in Washington, D.C., a city with a vibrant mix of cultures and neighborhoods. Your guides to the changing district are reporters Anna John and Elahe Izadi.

Tasty Morning Bytes – Record Demand for Food Bank, Pleasant Affordable Housing and Health Disparities

Good morning, DCentric lurkers! Here are some of the stories we’re reading, right now:

Arlington food bank sees record demand “‘I come here because I can’t get food stamps because I make too much,’ said Donald James of Arlington. ‘How can I make too much money when all my money goes to rent and utilities?’” (The Washington Post)

Protesters Occupy Washington, D.C. “Only one protester made a specific reference to race; and she was wearing a message to Herman Cain on her back: ‘I Am Black & Democrat, not brain washed.’ It was an apparent reference to his disparaging remarks about blacks tending to vote Democratic.” (

St. Dennis Reopens in Victory for Affordable Housing “In 2004, developers set their sights on the building located at Kenyon and 17th Streets in Mt. Pleasant, hoping to turn it into high-priced condos in the fast-gentrifying neighborhood. Bit by bit, they chased away residents, but three steadfastly refused to leave — Eva Martinez and her daughters, Anabell and Eva Aurora.” (DCist)
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Tasty Morning Bytes – Fleeting Retail Diversity, Russian to Learn and DCPS Residency Fraud

Good morning, DCentric readers! Ready for some link love?

What the Demise of the Mall Means to Georgetown’s Retail Landscape “The hulking and aging mall fit into the Jane Jacob call to preserve old buildings. She advised this because old buildings with smaller retail spaces tend to be cheaper to rent and thus can house stores that can’t afford prime rents. This leads to more retail diversity.” (The Georgetown Metropolitan)

At French immersion school, a love for Russian “Often, the biggest Russian classes are filled with ‘heritage kids,’ Sanders said. Not so at Goddard. At this school, where 82 percent of students are black or Hispanic, not a single person in Room 213 has a Russian background.” (The Washington Post)

A Constant Struggle For Work “I have no problems passing the drug tests, passing the urine tests. Everybody who says those of us in Ward 8 don’t have any skills. How much experience do you need to sweep a broom? Come on.” (The Root DC)
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DCentric Picks: ‘The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975′

Flickr: Runs With Scissors

Mural of Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X. During the 1968 riots, Carmichael, who was a leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) obtained special police permission to allow Ben’s Chili Bowl to stay open after curfew to provide food and shelter for activists and public servants who were working to restore order in D.C.

What: Film: “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975” (2010)

When: Weekend screenings include: 10:30 a.m.,‎ ‎12:45 p.m., ‎ ‎3:00 p.m.,‎ ‎5:15‎ p.m., ‎7:30‎ p.m., ‎9:45 p.m‎. Check here for updates.

Where: Landmark E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW.

Cost: $11 for general admission. More details here.

Why you should go: As the New York Times put it,

The film begins at a moment when the concept of black power was promoted by Stokely Carmichael, a veteran of the freedom rides early in the decade, who, like many young black activists, had grown frustrated with the Gandhian, nonviolent philosophy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Carmichael, who later moved to Guinea and took the name Kwame Ture, is remembered for the militancy of his views and his confrontational, often slashingly witty speeches, but the Swedish cameras captured another side of him. In the most touching and arresting scene in “Mixtape,” he interviews his mother, Mable, gently prodding her to talk about the effects of poverty and discrimination on her family.

Other events to consider: Fans of conscious hip-hop and global music can combine their passions with one FREE show at the Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage, where Jewish Israeli recording artist and producer SHI 360 performs on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m.

Tasty Morning Bytes – RIP Reverend Shuttlesworth, Hunger on Sesame Street and Cupcakes in Ward 8

Good morning, DCentric readers! Here are some of the stories we’re reading, right now:

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, Civil Rights Leader, Dies at 89 “He was Martin Luther King’s most effective and insistent foil: blunt where King was soothing, driven where King was leisurely, and most important, confrontational where King was conciliatory — meaning, critically, that he was more upsetting than King in the eyes of the white public.” (The New York Times)

Sesame Street Takes On Hunger | ThinkProgress “There may be two Americas, but it’s not as if they’re on opposite sides of a wall. Teaching kids not to assume that everyone has the same level of resources is a valuable lesson in social awareness. So many signifiers of coolness — clothes, birthdays, activities, cars, housing — are really signifiers of wealth, and in a deep and prolonged recession, poverty makes you socially as well as materially vulnerable.” (Think Progress)

The safety gap: David Kennedy talks fighting violent crime | The Informant “The ‘safety gap’ is akin to the ‘wealth gap,’ [author David M.] Kennedy explained. As our society has become more economically prosperous, the gap between the haves and the have-nots has grown wider, leaving certain communities behind. Similarly, while much of the country has gotten safer, in certain neighborhoods and certain communities, things have gotten worse.” (The Informant)
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Tasty Morning Bytes – Expanding to Ward 8, Occupy DC and Auditing Peaceoholics

After-School Program Receives Grant, Expands to Ward 8 “An afterschool program that already serves approximately 800 students in 27 schools across the District, is expanding to accommodate students in Ward 8.” (

Hate speech against Muslims incites violence “Similar smear campaigns by intellectuals, social and political leaders targeted Native Americans, African Americans, Jews and Japanese Americans. These cases wrought untold destruction, until they were revealed as false and horrifying in the extreme.” (The Washington Post)

Occupy DC Protestors Gather In McPherson Square “They call themselves the 99 percent, and in New York, in LA, in Denver, and in DC they’re rebelling against a power structure that’s allowed the top one percent of Americans to amass more than a third of the nation’s wealth.” (WUSA Washington, DC)

Graham requests new audit on Peaceoholics “The group received $13.8 million from seven city agencies and the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp. from 2005 to 2010, most during the term of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.” (Washington Times)

The power and pain of the N-word “The word is weighty and powerful and harkens back to a time when whites could do whatever they wanted to black people—call them any name, beat them, rape them and even kill them with impunity.” (The Washington Post)

Tasty Morning Bytes – River History, Impoverished Children and Addressing Food Deserts

Anacostia River: From then till now “Prince George’s County was home to huge slave plantations before the Civil War, and after the war, many of those freed slaves remained. A major refugee center was set up on the eastern banks of the river. The Freedmen’s Bureau bought 375 acres and sold small lots to the former slaves. And so it was that the area just across the Anacostia became home to many blacks (including Douglass). More affluent whites gradually settled along the Potomac, particularly the high bluffs overlooking the river.” (The Washington Post)

Promise Neighborhoods: DC Grant Winners Share Their Trials and Triumphs “We can’t just narrowly focus on what resources a student has in class. We’ve been there, done that, and it doesn’t work. So let’s try something different. President Obama has invested federal funding to spur creativity and innovation at the neighborhood level and is letting that work its way up.” (The Root)

Record Number Of Hispanic Children Living In Poverty “The study finds that besides high unemployment, Hispanics also suffered the greatest loss of wealth of all ethnic groups, primarily due to foreclosures. As the Latino birth rate continues to outpace that of whites and blacks, the number of poor Latino children could grow even more.” (
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There are Only 90 Doctors East of the River

Flickr: NCinDC

Howard University Hospital

If you reside in Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle or Friendship Heights, chances are, you live near a practicing physician. For D.C. residents who make their home east of the river, it’s a very different situation, according to a recent article in the Washington Post, which focused on a potential shortage of doctors in this city. One part of the article stood out to us; when it comes to a lack of practicing physicians, certain areas in D.C.- have it much worse than others.

In Ward 3, for example, there is an abundance of physicians, with “literally hundreds of doctors to choose from,” said Michael Williams, chief of health-care operations for the nonprofit D.C. Primary Care Association. But he said only 90 doctors list a business address east of the Anacostia River.

The District has a “severe mal-distribution of physicians” rather than a shortage, given that roughly 23 percent of the population lives east of the river but only a tiny fraction of physicians have a business location there, he said.

The Post reported that there are 4,000 full- or part-time physicians in D.C. but it’s important to keep in mind those doctors are sometimes seeing patients who work in the city, but live in Maryland or Virginia. So doctors who maintain a practice in the city are treating patients from across the region, which for locals makes finding a doctor even more challenging.

Tasty Morning Bytes – Obama Shops Target, Tuskegee in D.C. and Fenty Regrets Nothing

Good morning, DCentric readers!

Michelle Obama Shops At Washington-Area Target “She spent 30 to 40 minutes shopping, pushing her own cart. She apparently was recognized only by the cashier who rang up her purchases. Since coming to the White House, Mrs. Obama has lamented missing out on what she calls ‘normal stuff,’ like Target runs.” (WUSA 9)

What Happened When I Tried To Buy A Cupcake On The Saint E’s Campus “Today, standing outside of the gates looking in, being humiliated by a security officer that made me feel as if I should have known better, I was made to feel like less than a person, less than a tax payer, less than a resident of the District of Columbia. It didn’t matter that I literally lived up the street, the message was clear: this was not for me and my Ward 8 neighbors. We could look but not touch.” (Congress Heights on the Rise)

Obama’s unfortunate remarks on people’s misfortunes “Things turned ugly for me when Obama, in closing, said: ‘I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain.’ Whether Obama was referring directly to black leaders or indirectly to their financially stressed and frustrated constituents, his point was unnecessary. The people I hear from and personally counsel aren’t sitting around in bedroom slippers grumbling. They don’t have time nor can they afford to just complain. They’re trying desperately to make ends meet.” (Washington Post)

Re-creating the Tuskegee experiment? “Is the District preparing to conduct its own Tuskegee experiment? The synopsis: D.C. Council member David A. Catania is pushing legislation that would mandate mental and behavioral analyses of youths as young as 3, and city schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson testified Tuesday that she has bought into his misguided proposal.” (Washington Times)
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Tasty Morning Bytes – Posh Bottled Water, Fast Food Stamps and a Gay Black Gang

Good morning, DCentric readers. Ready for some newsy links?

Pulp to Close in November “On a wider scale, the closure comes at a fragile time for the corridor — which, as both long-standing retail fixtures and relatively recent additions are vacating, is experiencing a real shake-up…’The day is rapidly approaching when I won’t be able to buy anything on 14th Street except a $10,000 sofa and a $100 dinner’.” (DCist)

Council drinks high-end bottled water at breakfast “Wednesday morning’s D.C. Council breakfast with the mayor featured your typical buffet spread with one snazzy feature: pricey Voss brand bottled water, which sells for a few bucks per bottle. Is this part of the council’s effort to be more civil to one another?” (Washington Examiner )

Food Stamps for Fast Food: An Absurd Idea “Poor nutrition habits contribute to an obesity epidemic that affects everyone, especially children, the poor and people of color. That’s why allowing food stamps to be used at fast food restaurants is absurd. It makes no sense to use government funds to purchase foods that contribute to disease and increased health care costs.” (The New York Times)
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Tasty Morning Bytes – Fertility Class Divide, Suicidal Students and Diversity Goodies

Good morning, DCentric readers! Why not start your Wednesday off with some links:

America’s Fertility Class Divide: What new numbers from the Center for Work-Life Policy and the Guttmacher Institute reveal. “There’s little question why poorer women are having more unintended pregnancies. Only about 40 percent of women who needed publicly funded family planning services between 2000 and 2008 got them…During that same period, as employment levels and the number of employers offering health insurance went down, the number of women who needed these services increased by more than 1 million.” (Slate)

Dismal DCPS Statistics Shared at Council Hearing “10 percent of DCPS eight graders have attempted suicide…Some pretty dismal stuff…considering the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the rate of suicides among children ages 10 to 14 (the age range of most D.C. eighth graders) is merely 0.9 per 100,000.” (DCist)

How does the UC Berkeley ‘diversity bake sale’ rub you? “A group of Republican students at UC Berkeley is moving ahead with plans to hold an ‘increase diversity’ bake sale this Thursday in mockery/protest of legislation awaiting the governor’s signature that would consider race and gender in college admissions. The method of protest? Charging higher prices for the baked goodies to white customers, especially white males, and lower ones to minorities and women.” (Multiamerican)

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