As the current demographics indicate, the cultural history of this nation’s capital is quite varied. Before European settlement in the 18th century, algonquin speaking natives inhabited the region. As with other territories, however, settlers quickly dominated the land they seized.
With the decision to establish a district seperate from its neighboring states, early politicians were tasked with the challenge of creating boundary lines and naming what would become the capital of the world’s most powerful nation. What better name than that of the greatest general in world history: Washington.
The promise of equality and civil liberties brought about a great migration of African Americans to the District of Columbia. The population of D.C. was relatively small until the Great Depression, when the “New Deal” increased the power of the federal government. By the middle of the 20th century the population had reached just over eight hundred thousand. By the 1970′s, the African American population had reached an all time high of around seventy percent. The trend has since reversed, particularly with the college educated, bringing the demographics to approximately fifty percent African American. Also of note, non-hispanic whites have increased by approximately thirty percent.
Of course, demographics are only a portion of what makes up a culture. Food, more than anything can define tastes and attitudes of the locals. Cultural restaurants ranging from Italian to Chinese can be found scattered throughout the city, reflecting the diversity of this great nation. Festivals in D.C. and surrounding areas present a great opportunity to sample the best of what the area has to offer.
D.C. wouldn’t be D.C. without its breathtaking monuments and museums. Located in the historic neighborhoods are pubs and taverns that, when visited, can give anyone a true sense of what it means to be from D.C. The markets, too, can be a treat to visit.Still bored? Click to continue: Washington, D.C., Loses Black Majority – NYTimes.com