This weekend I capitalized on one of the many opportunities that come with being a student journalist: I took a free tour of D.C.’s U Street/Shaw neighborhood — the “Black Broadway” tour.
The tour was great; I learned a lot.
One of the more interesting highlights though was that I was touring with a handful of international students. And almost all of them knew nothing about African American history.
I got this great video of the school’s rep/chaperone, Christy Nichols, explaining why American started to offer the tour in the first place: because it realized that few of its international students had any knowledge of black history outside of what’s portrayed in Hollywood.
While I was filming Christy talk, I was thinking it would be great to include the clip with the article (read it on the American Observer‘s site tomorrow).
She was saying everything clearly and honestly. It would make a great video.
I was wrong. As soon as I hit the play button on this little gem, the sounds of sirens flooded my ears. After briefly glancing around outside to see what was going on, I realized the sound was coming from the video. Christy’s entire message about how U street has an unfortunate image with foreign students of being dangerous and risky, for no real reason, was undermined by the pesky sounds of police and ambulance sirens.
As tempted as I was to still include the video with the article, I decided that it was too ironic and would undermine the tone of the written portion. So here it is, completely separated from the seriousness of U Street’s history … but too good to let it go completely to waste.