DC: WAMU Radio on 9th and U, Plus Ethiopia Display at Chevy Chase Library

(Photo credit: From the 2011 Genna and Kwanzaa courtesy of Matt Andrea)

WAMU 88.5 and 88.3 Ocean City – Global Perspective: 9th and U

Washington D.C – For much of the 20th Century, Washington D.C.’s U Street, or “Black Broadway,” was a vibrant intellectual, artistic, and commercial hub for African Americans — and one of the few places black people were able to live.

The neighborhood has since seen changes with gentrification and immigration. In recent years, Ethiopian immigrants have been chasing the American dream alongside their African-American neighbors. Washington D.C is home to the biggest Ethiopian community outside Ethiopia. But as the two communities brush up against each other, there have been controversies – such as a thwarted attempt to rename a section of the neighborhood “Little Ethiopia.”

But cultural and political connections between these groups stretch back more than a hundred years. Ethiopia’s resistance to colonialism was an inspiration to many black American pan-Africanists. African-Americans sent money and fighter pilots to Ethiopia to battle Italian invaders. Later, Ethiopians looked to African-American civil rights leaders and cultural icons as heroes.

Today, some Ethiopians and African-Americans in DC are forging new alliances between their communities – and in doing so, reconciling their own personal histories and identities.

“9th & U” is part of the Global Perspective documentary series. This year, international documentary makers explore the theme “Old School, New School.”

“9th & U” was produced and presented by Andrea Wenzel for WAMU 88.5. Dereje Desta contributed to the story. Leda Hartman was the editor. Photos of Genna and Kwanzaa courtesy of Matt Andrea.

Click here to listen to the program and view photos at wamu.org.

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6 Responses to “DC: WAMU Radio on 9th and U, Plus Ethiopia Display at Chevy Chase Library”


  1. 1 inspired Feb 26th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I simply LOVE the articles that you highlight in this magazine. Thank you for keeping us connected and for all your hard work. The exhibition in DC is a very valuable asset for the education of our children raised in North America.

  2. 2 Jember Feb 26th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Love it!!!

  3. 3 Mez Feb 26th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Simply beautiful!

  4. 4 Daren Feb 26th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Somebody should make a traveling multimedia exhibition of Ethiopian American history. It’s fascinating!!

  5. 5 tess Feb 28th, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    The Black History month is supposed to be about the millions and their descendents who paid but not paid to grow the largest economy in the world. It would be nice to see Ethiopian-American community celebrate and teach the resilience of those people.

  6. 6 Monica Feb 28th, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Beautiful. Thanks for preserving our history!

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