With support from the University of Richmond

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Is DC Statehood Possible and If So, How?


The struggle for DC self-determination—the right to govern the city and for full representation in Congress—has existed since the city’s inception. Early efforts were directed at securing voting rights in Congress and government by locally elected officials. But since DC’s limited home rule was granted in 1973, Congress has retained control of the city’s budget and can reject the DC Council’s legislation while initiating its own. The city’s single delegate to Congress cannot vote on legislation. DC activists have focused on statehood as the dominant strategy for Washingtonians to gain the full rights of American citizenship.

How and why did statehood become the popular strategy? Why did late-20th-century efforts for statehood fail? And what role has race played in the effort for representation for this historically Black city?

Musgrove, associate professor of history at University of Maryland Baltimore County and co-author of Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital, will speak with Bob Levey, former Washington Post columnist, on these questions. Their conversation will help us understand the historical context for today’s ongoing statehood effort.

“Is Statehood Possible?” is the latest installment in our Context for Today series of online conversations with thoughtful and thought-provoking historians.

This educational program is supported by a grant from the Office of the Secretary of the District of Columbia.


Click here to register for the event.

Read entire article at Greater Greater Washington