Chocolate Cities Group Show


Chocolate Cities Group Show
February 8, 2017-September 26,2017

Chocolate Cities: The History, Legacy, and Sustainability of African American Urban Enclaves

Curated by Martina Dodd

The term Chocolate City has historical significance in Washington, DC. Coined in the 1970’s by local radio personalities and made popular by the funk band Parliament, the term did not solely indicate the color of the population but also the vibrant communities and cultural pride among its residents. For Deejay Bobby “The Mighty Burner” Bennett, Chocolate City “was the expression of DC’s classy funk and confident Blackness;” it was about being Black, proud, and in power. Not only were Black people the majority, but they also had strength within the city through politics, business ownership, music, and culture.

However, in the past decade, Washington, DC and Prince George’s County has dramatically changed due to population growth, gentrification, and government policy. It is no longer the same Chocolate City that the funk band Parliament referred to in the 1970’s, but it still remains distinctively DC. The work included in this exhibition seeks to open up a discourse on displacement, cultural sustainability, and economic growth in a way that recognizes individual experiences as well as collective memory. Through an examination of the history of Chocolate Cities, this exhibition encourages intergenerational discussions on historical legacy as well as methods of sustainability in the face of a rapidly changing cultural and economic landscape.

Chocolate Cities showcases original works by featured artists: Tim Davis, Lloyd Foster, Lionel Frazier White III, Sheila Crider, Michael Booker, and Larry Cook.


Designed for Decay: Unpacking Environmental Racism
Thursday, April 6, 2017


First Fridays with Chocolate Redux
Friday, May 5, 2017


Family Day: A Taste of Chocolate City
Saturday, July 1, 2017



For more information, contact Laura Perez, Director of Education and Programs
#(301) 809-0440 ext. 110;