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DC Park To Be Renamed In Honor Of Former Black Landowner

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Wasington, D.C., lawmakers corrected a centuries previous incorrect, authorizing the renaming of a neighborhood park and leisure heart in honor of the household of a former slave and landowner.

In response to the DCist, the District on Saturday (June12) celebrated the renaming of Lafayette Park in Chevy Chase to Lafayette-Pointer Recreation Heart. The transfer comes after a campaign led by the Historic Chevy Chase DC, a company that focuses on defending the historic worth of the neighborhood. 

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The land was initially owned by Captain George Pointer, a former slave who contributed to constructing Maryland’s C&O Canal within the early-to-mid 1800s. Pointer, who additionally helped receive vital supplies for the constructing of many federal buildings and monuments in D.C., owned a big portion of land for over 80 years. It was finally claimed by eminent area to serve a rising and predominantly white Chevy Chase neighborhood, the report notes. The land was offered for $200,000, far lower than its market worth on the time, and would finally turn out to be Lafayette Sq.. 

Within the mid-2010s, native historians Barbara Boyle Torrey and Clara Myrick Inexperienced discovered an 1829 letter by Pointer however had been quickly impressed to seek for any descendants of Pointer and managed to seek out one in 68-year previous James Fisher.

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Whereas Pointer’s identify will now be honored by the land he as soon as owned, there have been extra efforts to verify his story isn’t forgotten. Nonetheless, the household and two historians are aiming to verify Pointer’s story is advised on the nationwide stage. 

“My hope is that finally the [National Museum of African American History and Culture] will take George Pointer’s 18th-century letter from the Nationwide Archives and put it of their museum,” Torrey tells the DCist.

Lafayette Sq.’s renaming is one in all many modifications to parks, roads, and public properties named after segregationist figures across the nation, in line with the report. Although this has been a motion amongst native activists and lawmakers within the native space, the problems are related to the general racial pressure of the nation in addition to its historical past. 

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