The Black Broadway of Washington DC

In its heyday, the 14th Street/U Street corridor in the Shaw neighborhood was considered the Harlem of Washington, DC. From the 1920s through the1960s, Shaw attracted famous African American musicians, such as Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Louis Armstrong, who performed in local theaters and music halls — giving rise to the nickname “Black Broadway.”

Shaw was a natural meeting place for the African American community in the time of segregation. “ couldn’t go downtown, so we made this our street and changed history,” says Duane Sawyer, bartender at Bohemian Caverns. The bar, still in operation today, opened during the days of prohibition in 1926. Bohemian Caverns quickly became known for its late-night jam sessions and southern cuisine, in addition to underground liquor. The watering hole continues to host […]

By |December 16th, 2014|Blog

Amtrak at the 2014 The Root 100

Amtrak takes every opportunity to acknowledge the many great leaders who ride our rails every day to move their dreams forward. That’s why we were honored to be the official transportation sponsor of the 2014 The Root 100 event.

The Root 100 is a gala dedicated to recognizing standout leaders, innovators and culture shapers in the African American community. Featured among this year’s “100” were Kevin Durant, Pharrell, Shonda Rhimes and Beyoncé, along with 96 other leaders from film, television, literature, law and business. Some of the honorees are widely recognized publically, while others have worked behind-the-scenes. What connects them is that they’ve not only had standout years but they’ve also showed promise for shaping the future.

To share the fun and impact of the evening, we invited two lucky […]

By |December 15th, 2014|Blog

The “D” Stands for “Down but Not Out”

If I hadn’t known any better, I would have guessed the “D” stood for D-list. Detroit has never been high on my list, even though I am a Midwestern woman who has been to most of the states neighboring my home turf of Wisconsin: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Minnesota. I never gave Detroit a second thought outside of Ford Motor Company, Lake Michigan and Motown Records. I did take notice when the city filed for bankruptcy in 2013 — the largest municipality in U.S. history to appear in bankruptcy court. Of course, that wasn’t the first red flag for the city once known as the Automobile Capitol of America. Motor City had been on a steady decline: losing people, housing, businesses and popularity for decades.

Recently, there has been a […]

By |December 3rd, 2014|Blog

The Best Cities for a Tailgate Party

Tailgate parties complete football season — what pairs better with intense games than delectable grub? What fan could deny fried dough, smoked pork, and mozzarella oozing off the sides of a hot pizza? When considering each city’s infamous eateries, accessibility, and hospitable fans, New Orleans, Washington, DC, and Chicago top my list of ideal places to throw a tailgate party. When you bleed the home team colors, you gain access to a hot ticket: food, drinks, and high fives, making the taste of victory that much sweeter.

New Orleans offers delicious food, 24/7 venues, and plenty of festivals. The milder temperatures attract tourists to town for nonstop partying in the French Quarter, especially where Bourbon Street establishments lull tourists into euphoria at all times of the night. Harrah’s Casino sits […]

By |November 20th, 2014|Blog

The Trail of Dred Scott

When my friends come to St. Louis, we always tour iconic sights like the Gateway Arch. But did you know St. Louis served as the backdrop to significant historical events that helped to shape our nation? One momentous event blazed the path to independence and citizenship for all African Americans. Recently, I brought this history to life as my sons and I took an adventure along the Trail of Dred Scott.

Dred Scott’s fascinating story, a pivotal moment in the history of the country, unfolded right in the Old Courthouse, in downtown St. Louis. This was the venue where Dred Scott sued for his freedom, the courthouse where he was initially deemed to be free. That decision was overturned in an appeal made by Scott’s owner, which was ultimately upheld […]

By |November 17th, 2014|Blog