Photos: Colin A. Danville
We knew we did not just want to sell the t-shirts; we wanted to support what there still is of Chocolate City.
Much like the Drum and Spear bookstore of the 1960s and 1970s, Teaching for Change combines the educational, community organizational, and political concerns of progressive and race-conscious people, in DC and beyond. It is celebrating 25 years of serving classrooms and communities.
We decided to share 10% of our profits with Teaching for Change to help it continue to uplift the children and parents in public schools in DC, MD and VA, and to continue to create and share curriculum resources and stories that honor the histories of people of color and progressive whites
Washington DC- home to Black Broadway, Chuck Brown, Ben’s Chili Bowl and the sounds of Duke Ellington and Shirley Horne. Our home. Our Black roots were once so rich and well-nourished and made the nation’s capital worthy of the name “Chocolate City.”
It is chocolate that built this city. The economic, political, social and cultural foundations of DC rest on land stolen from Indigenous peoples and labor from African Americans and other people of color that was stolen and underpaid. Many of us took (and still take pride) in the fruits of that labor. The words are a statement of fact, a remembrance of the history, and a lament about current conditions.
We wear this shirt in mourning, in remembrance, and in pride of the city formerly known as Chocolate City but forever our home.
Washington, DC has always been a transient city for many, but the foundation, the flavor and vibe has always had a strong Black influence-hence the chocolate. Over recent decades Many African Americans who achieved a degree of affluence chose to leave for the surrounding suburbs; others have been pushed out of gentrifying neighborhoods and left with few affordable options that allow them to stay in the city. The chocolate that once grounded this city is melting.
We wanted to visually represent this shift using the DC flag but also incorporating an outline of the city with a drop of lifeless chocolate. At first glance you know that this shirt is an ode to Washington, DC but the symbolism digs deeper.
Keep Chocolate City Alive!
Creator and Designer of globally focused accessory brand BolehlahAccessories
Past Public Relations Assistant for Teaching for Change
Second and 3rd generation native Washingtonian mother-daughter team
Dr. Jenice L. View
Long-time consultant with Teaching for Change
Co-editor of Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching