Last year historians from Historic Chevy Chase visited our school to talk to our older students about the racist history of the land that Lafayette and the Rec Center were built on. Some of our students were so moved that they wrote letters to the Council and the Mayor asking them to rename the Rec Center after the original owner of the land, Capt. George Pointer. The Council will be holding hearings on this on 9/15. If you and your older students are interested in learning more about this history please consider attending the Zoom Webinar “Jim Crow Came to Chevy Chase” below. This is some ugly history about this lovely neighborhood, but as James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Thanks for supporting our kids in learning about how they can make the world a better place! – Ms. Ryden
Join Historic Chevy Chase DC for a free Zoom Webinar on Wednesday, September 16, at 7:30 p.m. about the fascinating, little-known history of racism in Chevy Chase DC that forced Black landowners from property they had owned for generations along Broad Branch Road. The webinar, “Jim Crow Came to Chevy Chase,” covers how their 1928 eviction enabled the building of the then-Whites-only Lafayette Elementary School and Park. Research has traced the ancestry of those landowners to freed slave George Pointer, born in 1773, who had been hired out to work for George Washington. In the Webinar, HCCDC board member Tim Hannapel will engage Pointer’s eighth-generation direct descendant James Fisher as they discuss the unfurling of this history and talk about what it means to have the history recognized through an HCCDC effort to rename the park Lafayette-Pointer Park and Recreation Center.
The one-hour Zoom presentation will include maps and photos and discussion of a book Georgetown University Press will publish next spring about the Pointer family history entitled, “Between Freedom and Equality: The History of an African-American Family in the District of Columbia,” by Barbara Boyle Torrey and Clara Myrick Green. The Webinar will also report on the September 15 DC City Council hearing on the bill to officially rename the park. Register for the Zoom event at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jim-crow-came-to-chevy-chase-dc-broad-branch-rd-black-community-evicted-registration-117103272039. Registration is free but donations are gladly welcomed!