|Commemorative plaque at Glen Echo Park.
Last summer we visited the Glen Echo Park, located just outside of Washington DC in Maryland. Built in the late 19th century, the park retains much of its old-fashioned charm with its picnic areas, puppet theater and antique carousel, complete with a menagerie of wood carved animals. But 50 years earlier, this symbol of innocence and whimsy was the spark that fueled the flame of the non-violent protests led by students from nearby Howard University that resulted in the park’s integration.
Today the only indication of Echo Park’s segregated past are the plaques around the park that commemorate the struggle. In an effort to impart some Black History and make it relevant to them, I reminded my girls of this trip, explaining the park’s history and that there was a time not so long ago that they would not have been able to play there. My history lesson was regularly interrupted with their memories of the park:
“I really liked the puppet show. Can we go back?” Miss V shouts
“We didn’t get to ride on the carousel. I want to do that next time”. Miss P adds.
History lesson + happy travel memory + future travel plans. Looks like my work here is done.