In 2018, I moved to Deanwood. A charming neighborhood located on the edge of Ward 7, it isone of the city’s oldest African-American suburbs. On May 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., we celebrate Deanwood Day at Deanwood Recreation Center at 1350 49th St. NE.
Deanwood was established when a White landowner named Levi Sheriff divided farmland among his three daughters: Margaret Lowrie, Emmeline Sheriff and Mary Cornelia Dean. To this day, several streets still bear the names of these former enslavers.
Unlike most slave-owning states, the District permitted Blacks to learn to read and write, allowing them to thrive and build resilient communities. Deanwood is a prime example. It is a community long characterized by strong family bonds, self-reliance and deep traditions, one of which is Deanwood Day.
I have attended Deanwood day for several years. It is a time to celebrate the neighborhood’s rich history with neighbors and friends. Often, we are joined by current and former elected officials such as Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), former Mayor Sharon Pratt (D), Attorney General Brain Schwalb (D), At-Large Councilmember Robert White (D) and others. The event also highlights local, minority owned businesses and vendors.
To get the lowdown on this year’s celebration, I spoke with Patricia Stamper. She is President of the Deanwood Citizens Association, ANC Commissioner for 7C06, and owner of Simply Stamper, LLC. Stamper has lived in the DC area since 2004 and in Deanwood since 2017.
Why should folks attend this year’s Deanwood Day, I asked Stamper?
“This year we have more offerings, more sponsorships, such as the American Red Cross, and a blood drive! We are showing our kids a way to stay active and be involved throughout the year,” Stamper enthusiastically responded.
Organizers, Stamper said, are encouraging folks to come out and celebrate all things Deanwood. The Deanwood Citizens Association (DCA) and MY Fit Fam have been working hard to put together a day of community service. Participants can also expect youth sports demonstrations. There will be lots of local vendors and community partners. Don’t miss The Deanwood History Talk. There is something for everyone, she said.
“I am really excited about the greeters,” Stamper said. “This year, all of the Ward 7C Neighborhood Advisory Commissioners will be greeting neighbors!” This gives Deanwood residents the opportunity to meet their elected officials and personally connect with the leaders that represent them, she said.
Interested in having a table, or volunteering? Visit www.deanwoodcitizens.org/about-3 for details.
Leniqua’dominique Jenkins works on the DC Council but the views expressed here are her own. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.