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The New Culture

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Around the time of the Jim Crow era, U street became the Mecca for black businesses in Washington, D.C. It became black broadway before Harlem became Harlem. After the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., much of 14th Street and U took a turn when the riots of 1968 began. This short film examines the history of black U street and explores what happened to the 300 businesses that existed. It shows the black businesses that still exist today and why supporting black businesses, as a whole, matters everywhere.

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White Americans have had a 400 year head start on African Americans as a result of slavery causing a wealth gap between the races that has only increased. While the median white wealth has increased by almost $15,000 since 1983, the median wealth of black households decreased by 75 percent between 1983 and 2016. Currently, the median wealth of black families is about $17,000 compared to $171,000 that of white families in the U.S.