Monday, September 14, 2009

Tony on Taking Back Mt. Pleasant

"In the late 1980s, the crack epidemic hit Mount Pleasant as it hit every other block in DC. You didn’t really know what was up because there were undercover cops, the police, and dealers, you know the whole gamut that comes with this crack epidemic, everywhere. And then things tapered off in the 90s and people started dealing in the back streets and alleyways instead of wide open in the front. Then, the neighborhood became more conscious of its surroundings and starting organizing itself and making things available to the youth. Bancroft School became one of the major playgrounds for after school activities. Also, up on the main street of Mount Pleasant, the park became a place where people could go play chess and checkers.

"Because of that, people started to intermingle and relate with each other. People started getting along, but there were still small pockets of resistance from some of the younger guys. A lot of the youth became more defensive, only watching out for themselves. They be stashing baseball bats around the neighborhood in case they were attacked.

"But the ordinary DC folks seemed oblivious to what’s going on around here unless you live it and know what’s happening. If you pass through, you don’t care. But, a lot of Mt. Pleasant diehards know what is happening and try and preserve it as an historical neighborhood."

To read more about the historic district of Mt. Pleasant click here.


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