23. RETURNING TO D.C.
A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME My return to D.C. in 1974 to meet with Congressman Gus Hawkins and talk about a job, was very unlike my arrival there in 1949, 25 years earlier, when I came to enroll in the Mecca, Howard University. This time, the U.S. Capitol wasn’t just a landmark; it was my likely place of employment. I carried a briefcase, not a suitcase. There was one taxicab line at Union Station, not two segregated ones – and the dispatcher was Black. The mayor, Walter Washington, was a Black man. A college friend had told me that, within the Black community, the District of Columbia was now called Chocolate City, majority Black. She was right. I naively thought that the Rayburn House Office Building, the site of Congressman Hawkins’ office (staff never called him “Gus”), was a typical office [...]