‘Chocolate City’ Shines Light on D.C. Gentrification

The Anacostia Community Museum will hold a special screening of the groundbreaking documentary “Chocolate City,” in correlation with the upcoming birthday of slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

Produced by Ellie Walton and Sam Wild, the 2007 film, which will be screened on Jan. 11, examines how people living in the Arthur Capper housing project in southeast D.C. were forced from their homes as part of a massive nationwide redevelopment program.

Centered around the experiences of a particular group of women from the housing project who formed productive alliances outside the political process to cope with their circumstances, the film shows vivid portraits of true civic engagement and a celebration of community resistance.

Through the film, viewers can witness the systemic marginalization of D.C’s majority Black citizens, as well as its Latino immigrant populations.

“I don’t much watch many films, but I find this one to be ever so important,” said one D.C. resident. “There has been a long ongoing battle with gentrification here in D.C. and to me, it is important that those suffering have their stories told. This was not the idea of Dr. King and on the brink of his 50th anniversary, I think that there is no better time to really get to the heart of the issue. Growing up, I only saw other successful Black people and I miss that. People should come and support this film and the ACM and I actually plan on attending myself.”

The screening, which begins 5 p.m. at the Anacostia Arts Center at 1231 Good Hope Road SE, will also feature a post-film Q&A session led by Debra Frazier, one of the film’s production members.

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Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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