Our DC Home Rule 50 exhibit will officially launch on April 7th. Join our community of photographers, community leaders, and activists for a special evening of conversation, music and light fare. Register today to attend this free event at the DC History Center, 801 K Street, NW, WDC. (Photo Credit: Lateef Mangum)
Produced by NEWorks Productions in collaboration with the DC History Center, DC Home Rule 50 explores urgent themes of free elections, self-governance, full citizenship, and DC statehood, featuring images by celebrated DC photographer Lateef Mangum and emerging photographers representing American University, the University of the District of Columbia, and Howard University.
The D.C. Home Rule 50 exhibition will be mounted in the West Gallery of the DC History Center from Friday, April 7 through Sunday, July 9, 2023.
Conceived and curated by Nolan Williams, Jr.
Co-curated by teaching artists Iwan Bagus, Leena Jayaswal, and Larry Cook
Special thanks to Anne McDonough, contributing historian
D.C. Home Rule 50 commemorates two important anniversaries: The District of Columbia Home Rule Act, passed by Congress on December 24, 1973, and passage of the 23rd Amendment in 1963.
The District of Columbia Home Rule Act, passed by Congress on December 24, 1973, devolved select congressional powers to reorganize the governmental structure of Washington, D.C.; provided a charter for local governance, including the election of a mayor and city council; and delegated certain legislative powers to the local government. Ten years earlier, in 1963, the 23rd Amendment granted citizens of the District of Columbia the right to vote for President and Vice President in national elections.
The significance of these two anniversaries is all the more compelling when you consider the following: that District residents were not legally able to cast votes in a presidential election until 1964 (Lyndon B. Johnson v. Hubert Humphrey) and that governance of the District of Columbia was controlled by Congress for 183 years, from our city’s founding on July 16, 1790 until Christmas Eve, 1973. The Home Rule Act and the 23rd Amendment were important, long-overdue steps towards granting citizens of the nation’s capital the same democratic rights as citizens of all fifty states.
A companion digital exhibition will also be mounted in time for D.C. Emancipation Day, April 14, 2023.
Mar J. Cox