D.C.’s Black Churches are Dropping their Congregations. Blame Gentrification.

From their earliest days, Black churches have been political by necessity, from the abolitionist motion to the civil legal rights movement. D.C.’s church buildings are no exception. But around the very last two many years, congregations of Black church buildings in the District have begun to disappear. This video clip explores the function gentrification is participating in on Black churches in the space.

In 2000, D.C.’s populace was 59 percent Black. As of the 2020 Census, Latino and Asian representation experienced climbed to 11.3 per cent and 4.8 p.c, respectively. Black people are now 41 percent of the city. In addition, the charge of dwelling and property values have skyrocketed as gentrification has taken root in D.C. Other metropolitan areas are viewing comparable declines in their Black populations, but D.C.’s transformation has been the most dramatic. Nowadays, the median house earnings for white citizens is more than a few times larger than the median money of Black people in the town. A Online News 72h evaluation observed that the space together with Logan Circle and Shaw has noticed a put together decline of 7,280 Black citizens in the final 20 several years.

That’s a change that Rev. William H. Lamar IV, has witnessed firsthand as pastor of the historic Metropolitan AME Church situated around the White Dwelling, the longest frequently working Black church in the town. Civil legal rights icons, this sort of as Frederick Douglass in 1894, gave speeches in that sanctuary. When Rosa Parks died in 2005 at 92, Oprah Winfrey, the late Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and the late actress Cicely Tyson attended her memorial company.

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