9th St NW & U St NW
The four blocks stretching from here to 13th St became a hub for Ethiopian immigrants fleeing a military dictatorship in the 1970s. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, diplomats from recently independent African countries and their children came to study at historically black colleges like Howard and to enjoy the cosmopolitan entertainment available in the neighborhood. Thus, the neighborhood already had a tradition of welcoming African visitors and students. The Ethiopian migrants soon leveraged their community connections and pooled resources to thrive as an entrepreneurial community, opening restaurants and providing cab services. Earlier attempts to officially brand the area as Little Ethiopia sparked tensions with some African American community members who felt this would erase their historical presence in the area. Today, though the community has moved into the suburbs of the city, Ethiopian- and Eritrean-owned businesses still dot the area. Explore the memories of the earliest days in U Street of a group of Ethiopian-American women, collected by Saaret Yoseph.