Remnants of Chocolate City: The Washingtonian Street Performer

Last summer 2016, I attempted to start a blog dedicated to capturing the opinions of natives on gentrification. Instead, a summers worth of work became just this one blog post – maybe it will evolve into a series when I become disciplined.

Many natives associated with the pushing out of black people with progress and they themselves were black. Some even said it was necessary to clean up certain parts of the city, while others mentioned its’ inevitability and adjusted to welcome their new neighbors. As a native of Washington D.C. who too was impacted by the higher living costs of the city, I was kind of shocked to hear these comments. Only because I realized I was clinging on to the past and I did not want the soul of my city to be buried.

At the Farragut West metro center I heard a band playing (actual live music) and a beautiful falsetto voice.  I took at least a hundred photos as I trying to find the perfect shot and took down the lead singers information since I wanted to send him the photos. Long story short, I never sent him the photos and they remained on my laptop edited and sadly, never posted. Unfortunately, I had to make room for other documents and resulted in deleting many of them. The featured photo is the only one that remains.

Last week (June 2017), I saw the band performing at Gallery Place. I was extremely happy and wanted to ask if he remembered me. A year later, the crowd was larger and he performed a mix of Bruno Mars, What I like, which is my FAVORITE SONG and Maxwell – truly a sweet melody of R&B. And of course, I did not have my camera.

In this moment, I realized that regardless of the evanescent nature of human beings, specifically the gentrifying force, the souls of black folk and their presence will forever be preserved in the courage of the street performer despite genre and race, to perform the music that inspires them and others to wake up the following day and live life to the fullest.

Dedicated to all street performers out there 🙂


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