By the fall of 1954, the District’s schools had been integrated. To avoid integration, white families fled to the suburbs, and neighborhoods, like Anacostia became predominantly Black communities.
The resulting demographic change led to divestment in the community. Residents experienced a withdrawal of public services and the purposeful devaluing of homes. “And then it became the worst place to go,” says Styles.
Urban renewal selectively demolished buildings in Black communities, while racist policies like redlining (a practice of denying loans and other economic services to people and areas deemed a racial risk) restricted housing choices.
Dixon went into politics and Styles into business in an effort to help usher vibrancy and equitable investment back to their beloved D.C. neighborhood.