A Right to the City

A Right to the City.” Anacostia Community Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.. Temporary exhibition. April 21, 2018–April 20, 2020. Lisa Sasak, interim museum director; Samir Meghelli, chief curator.

Reviewed by Amber N. Wiley

A Right to the City

These three-foot-tall letters at the entrance to the Anacostia Community Museum spell out a portion of the title of the exhibition “A Right to the City,” on display until April 2020.  Photo by Amber N. Wiley.

Colorful and immersive, the Anacostia Community Museum’s exhibition “A Right to the City” immediately invites the audience inside to explore. The exhibit comes at a critical time for the nation’s capital, which is experiencing exponential growth and major social, ethnic, and economic changes in its population. The exhibition’s audiences will learn about the history of six neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., and the major battles that neighborhood residents fought for equal rights and protection against segregation and displacement from urban development since the mid-twentieth century. The exhibition explains that crucial victories were the result of the collective muscle of many disempowered individuals; their work as a cohesive unit gave them the social and political capital they otherwise lacked.

To read more, visit: Journal of American History, Volume 106, Issue 1, June 2019, Pages 128–131.