Zora and Langston were on the D.C. scene from 1918 – 1926 before becoming giants of the Harlem Renaissance. Native-born E.K. Ellington, aka “Duke” was becoming a local musical celebrity.
These artistic icons provide a thematic back drop for a walking tour highlighting cultural life along the U Street corridor, Howard University, and Shaw after World War I and into the Prohibition era – a time of great change in the segregated capital city.
You’ll start your tour with breakfast and pictorial overview (including rare photos of Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington in his teen years) in the Hughes-themed Langston Room at Busboys and Poets. The walk begins from the Zora-themed Eatonville Restaurant and explores U Street, Howard University, the site of Griffith Stadium, the Howard Theatre, and its neighbor, The Right Proper Brewery, located in the old Holliday’s Pool Hall. Meet and enjoy hospitality from local businesses including Uprising, the new muffin shop in the area that was once bakery row. They are part of the recent wave of change in the city. You’ll hear stories and sample the flavor of these city blocks that made Washington, DC a cultural and social magnet for Zora, and gave Langston “The Weary Blues.”
Tour lasts approx. 3.5 hours with stops.
Ticket price includes a donation to support the programs of the Humanities Council of Washington, DC and their mission to celebrate the vibrant tapestry of culture in the Nation’s Capital through humanities programming and grants.
Your tour guide Michon Boston was born in Washington, DC, attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Oberlin College (yes, she studied music). Michon was project director for the Big Read DC from 2007 – 2010 that included city reads of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (who also has a DC story). [The Humanities Council of Washington, DC, and DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities were presenters for the Big Read DC.]
Michon is also creator/producer of the Makes-Me-Wanna SHOUT! Baking Challenge recently featured in The Washington Post Cookbook with one of its winning dessert recipes. She’s preparing to launch a campaign to select “D.C.’s Signature Dessert.” Michon’s also taken a special interest in DC’s small business history starting with bakeries. Michon Boston is a licensed tour guide in the District of Columbia.