I walked past the newly reopened (and then re-closed) Banneker Recreation Center in Shaw, DC, across from Howard University. I was coming from my favorite vegetarian soul food spot (well the only veggie soul food spot I know of in DC), Soul Vegetarian. I was amazed to see 2 thing that I’ve personally never seen before.
1. 4 white middle aged guys playing 2 on 2 with black teens and 20-somethings. It drew a crowd. I think people were betting on the game and just gawking.
2. About 4 white people hanging out and swimming at the Banneker pool. To see adults there is a feat…let alone adult white couples sunning themselves.
(Oh, there were also some white folks playing softball…but I’ve seen that before…that started about 2 years ago.)
I was simply amazed. I attended HU from 95-99 and I worked at HU for 6 years. I passed Banneker daily on the way to the parking lot for all of those years. I lived right up the street a year ago. I know that area…and I’ve never seen more than 1 white person at that pool…and they were not swimming…they were supervising a summer camp or something. Summer time at that Center means lots and lots of black teens…or at least that’s what it used to mean. The center had been closed for over a year…and I guess things have changed. I just had to blog about this in my long running notes on gentrification and DC…the Shaw area in particular.