You might recognize this book from the cover of our fall catalog. Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital by Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove is the most up-to-date and comprehensive history of race and race-relations in the nation’s capital. Thoroughly researched yet very readable, Chocolate City focuses on African American history, but does not neglect Native American and white components of DC history. Coming out in November just in time for Washington History Month, pre-order your copy today!
Monumental in scope and vividly detailed, Chocolate City tells the tumultuous, four-century story of race and democracy in our nation’s capital. Emblematic of the ongoing tensions between America’s expansive democratic promises and its enduring racial realities, Washington often has served as a national battleground for contentious issues, including slavery, segregation, civil rights, the drug war, and gentrification. But D.C. is more than just a seat of government, and authors Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove also highlight the city’s rich history of local activism as Washingtonians of all races have struggled to make their voices heard in an undemocratic city where residents lack full political rights.
Tracing D.C.’s massive transformations—from a sparsely inhabited plantation society into a diverse metropolis, from a center of the slave trade to the nation’s first black-majority city, from “Chocolate City” to “Latte City”—Asch and Musgrove offer an engaging narrative peppered with unforgettable characters, a history of deep racial division but also one of hope, resilience, and interracial cooperation.
“In this epic history of politics and power in Washington, D.C., Asch and Musgrove take readers beyond the monuments to reveal how racism shaped the city from its origin. They also tell the stories of people who fought back, including abolitionists, students, immigrants and their descendants, government lawyers and accountants, and grassroots activists. This is an indispensable history of the capital that reflects major currents in the nation’s past.”—Kate Masur, Northwestern University