From Segregrated to Majority
In the early 1900’s, Washington D.C. area’s population was growing at a very fast pace. The city was overwhelmed with career opportunities that soon overcrowded the city. Many people were fleeing to the city and looking for housing in the city. Due to the major improvements in public transportation, the idea of moving on the outskirts of the city appealed more and more among the minds of many who desired to live in the city. Realtor Otway B. Zantzinger of Baltimore decided to buy 400 acres beyond the eastern corner of the District.. This land today is known as Capitol Heights, Maryland. Despite the major regulation of the early community, “No Colored,” the community today has a population of 90 percent of African American families. The town has also elected its first African American Mayor, Darrell A. Miller.. “I’ve lived here for over 20 years with my family. It’s a nice quiet residential area. It’s a great place to raise children. I mean I was raised in D.C. but D.C. isn’t the same as it was when I was younger. When my husband and I moved out here, we were really trying to give our kids a better situation,” Deidre Edmonds-Johnson, Capitol Heights, MD. “The schools out here are phenomenal. My children went to Doswell E. Brooks Elementary School, and my grandson attends the school there now. I mean it is truly different.” Only 7.15 miles away from downtown Washington D.C. and several block radius from Southeast, Washington, D.C. this Prince George County Community has made its trade marks for cities in the county. Capitol Heights, Maryland established its own fire department and public works department; it has built facilities to house them and the other elements of government. Their public education is affiliated with the Prince George’s Public School system. There are three elementary schools in the community, capitol Heights Elementary, Doswell E. Brooks Elementary, and William Hall Elementary. There is a middle and high school as well in the town, Walker Mill Middle School and Central High School. The Addison Plaza shopping area plays a major role in the business activity of the neighborhood. In the shopping center are Giants Food grocery store, CVS, Beauty Supply Store, Check Cashing, Radio Shack, Lane Bryant, and a Nail Salon. For fast food the shopping center has; Dominoes, Chinese carryout, Popeye’s, and Taco Bell. “It’s so convenient for me, after school I can come here and buy carryout, or come get my nails done.” Ashley Cunningham, 17 of Central High says. “My Girlfriends and I come over here every day.” Lin Mi Wong, 28, one of the women who work in the Nail Salon in the shopping center says she enjoys working the shop. “I like working here. I enjoy meeting new people, and I also like seeing my regular customers, it’s nice, everyone is nice.” The community has grown from a segregated all white community to a majority African American community over the years. Capitol Heights is one of the many cities in the Prince George’s County. It has been homes to many people that work in the district and a positive living environment to the residents there today.