Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital



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.

Product Details

$28.00  $25.76
University of North Carolina Press
Publish Date
August 01, 2019
7.4 X 1.5 X 8.4 inches | 1.8 pounds
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About the Author

Chris Myers Asch teaches history at Colby College and runs the non-profit Capital Area New Mainers Project.

George Derek Musgrove is associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


An ambitious, kaleidoscopic history of race and politics in Washington, D.C. . . . Essential American history, deeply researched and written with verve and passion.--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

[The authors] embrace the funk band Parliament's moniker for the District of Columbia and deliver a narrative as grand as the city itself. . . . This enriching journey showcases the underappreciated saga of African-American success in the face of adversity.--Publishers Weekly, starred review

An ambitious, comprehensive chronicle of the civic experience of blacks, whites and other races over more than two centuries in Washington. . . . [It] succeeds in being both scholarly and accessible to the general reader.--Robert McCartney, The Washington Post

An important addition to the bookshelf of anyone who studies race, particularly in an urban setting, as well as scholars of the District of Columbia.--Journal of Southern History