Katie Davis writes:
“The forgotten bottom of D.C." That’s what Poet Fred Joiner calls the Southeast neighborhood of Anacostia. Around the city, people say Anacostia as a code word for poverty, crime, isolation.
Walk Martin Luther King Avenue though, empty storefronts are being painted, the mayor just cut the ribbon on the Turning Natural Juice bar, and in the Anacostia Arts Center, there’s a new café, and more small businesses.
As I started this project I went to see writer John Johnson at his home in a culdesac up Morris Road. After some conversation, he suggested a walk. Up a steep hill and then over to an enormous church surrounded by open land. “Turn around,” John said. And when I did there was Washington laid out like a post card. I’d never seen the city from this side of the river; the sandstone Capitol, the granite and marble Washington Monument.
“This is what we have,” said John. “This is what ‘they” want.”
Anacostia still has open tracts of land, for houses, apartment buildings and big developments.
To explore the changes Anacostia Unmapped gave digital recorders to John Johnson and two other producers who live and work in the community . They go into living rooms, to parties and rallies, to interview residents. John Johnson, Kymone Freeman and Schyla Pondexter-Moore give us an insiders look into their neighborhood . Their stories will run on WAMU 88.5 FM and We Act Radio FM in Anacostia.
Localore: Finding America was created by AIR, a Boston-based network of independent public media producers, to bring together the most gifted producers and forward-thinking stations in the industry to invent new media models and realize the founding vision of a public broadcasting service for “all of the people.” Principle funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with additional support from the Wyncote Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.