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Shaw St.

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Prior to the Civil War, the Shaw District of Washington, D.C. consisted of only trees until it evolved into military camps during wartime for former slaves escaping from the South. One of these camps developed into a neighborhood and was named in honor of Col. Robert Gould Shaw, the white officer who led the black Massachusetts 54th Regiment in the Civil War. The Shaw District of Washington, D.C. emerged into becoming a strong African American community. Many great artistic talents brewed there more than twenty years before the Harlem Renaissance. A walk down U Street in the district provides an inviting illustration of the areas cultural history that is still evident today. Its buildings have become widely known landmarks and its people, past and present provide physical representations of the community's great achievements. The building of theaters, homes, schools, and businesses has flourished during Shaw District’s state of urban renewal and celebration of its past.

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