This Journey provides ambassadors with the opportunity to experience the rich culture and long history of Washington D.C.’s vibrant African American communities. Despite serious disruptions from gentrification, long-standing community institutions continue to be the backbone of neighborhoods dating back to the 19th century. We will walk the streets and explore where Howard University has educated African American leaders since 1867, where Frederick Douglass brought the battle for freedom directly to D.C. in his later years, where Duke Ellington and Langston Hughes lived and got their artistic starts in their youth, and where U Street was D.C.’s famed Black Broadway. We’ll enjoy Westminster Presbyterian Church’s famous Monday evening blues concert, attend a performance of one of D.C.’s stellar African American theater companies, and learn about D.C.’s renowned go-go music.
Home Hospitality provided by the Friendship Force club of the National Capital Area.
Live With a Local
- Seven nights of home hospitality provided by the Friendship Force National Capital Area club
- Many home hosts live in or close to the historic neighborhoods we will be exploring
- Many of our hosts are new to Friendship Force (and look forward to their first Journey!) but have close ties to local cultural groups
- In addition to local neighborhoods, we’ll have a private tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
- We will visit the Frederick Douglass house
- Perhaps on the free day, ambassadors and hosts will be able to take an excursion to the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cambridge, Maryland, or explore historic Annapolis, Maryland
Experience the rich culture and long history of Washington DC’s vibrant African American communities! - Journey Coordinator
African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
8 Days / 7 Nights Program and Itinerary:
October 25, 2020 – November 1, 2020
Coordinator: Chuck Goldfarb, Lydia Curtis, Darryl Smith, and Donald Burch III
All Friendship Force Itineraries are subject to change.
Oct. 25, 2020
Ambassadors are met at their transportation arrival locations and spend the day and evening with their home hosts.
Since this is a global Journey with ambassadors arriving at different times of the day and at one of three possible airports, train, or bus stations, each ambassador will meet their home host at their particular arrival point. (Ambassadors coming from North America who have the option to fly into more than one DC airport are encouraged to select Reagan National Airport, which will be the most convenient airport for most home hosts.)
Home hosts will show ambassadors their neighborhoods and provide dinner.
Oct. 26, 2020
Welcome brunch (included in the host fee) at the home of a FFNCA member. Since this is a global Journey, this will be an opportunity for ambassadors to meet one another as well as to meet the other home hosts and to be provided details about the week’s program and how to use the Metro system. There likely will be a speaker who will provide a brief overview of DC’s African American History to provide context before our activities begin.
Depending on weather, a brief walking tour or museum tour.
Westminster Presbyterian Church Monday evening blues concert and soul food dinner (included in the host fee).
Oct. 27 to 30, 2020
Here are some of the activities being considered for these days (all performance tickets, entry fees and tour fees will be included in the host fee):
Walking tour of the U Street and Howard University neighborhoods, Duke Ellington’s boyhood home, Thurgood Marshall Center (formally the Anthony Bowen YMCA, the first YMCA for African Americans, where Langston Hughes and other notables stayed), The Whitelaw Hotel, and various old music and theater venues
Frederick Douglass House and walking tour of Anacostia
Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture on the federal mall
Walking tour of Old Town Alexandria or Georgetown
Evening performance of a production at one of DC’s acclaimed African American theater companies
Excursion to the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cambridge, Maryland
Go-Go band performance and discussion of Go-Go, gentrification, and other social issues affecting DC’s African American neighborhoods
One evening: ambassadors take their hosts out for dinner
One evening: ambassador and home host are hosted for dinner at nearby home of other FFNCA member
Oct. 31, 2020
Free day for ambassador and home host to explore something of mutual interest, perhaps taking an excursion to the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cambridge, Maryland.
Farewell Dinner at home or condominium room of a club member.
Since this will be Halloween night, ambassadors and their hosts might want to experience the scene at the intersection of U and 14th Streets.
Nov. 1, 2020
Hosts bring their ambassadors to departure point.
If there is interest on the part of any ambassadors to attend an African American church service in DC, they should inform us in advance and we will try to accommodate them. (This must be planned in advance with their home hosts and taken into account when scheduling their return flights.)
$700 USDPrice Includes: FFI and host fees, transportation to program sights, a welcome brunch, farewell dinner, blues performance and dinner, theater and music performances, dinner before theater, entry to museums, and tour guides.
Not included: transportation to Washington, D.C., lunches, or drinks at meals other than the welcome and farewell events.
*Please note that this is an estimate and depends on the costs of theater and musical performance tickets.
Know before you go
- Journey number 20406.
- October is the most pleasant season of the year in Washington, DC. In late October, average daytime highs are in the 60s (Fahrenheit) and lows in the mid 40s. It is "sweater weather," so consider layering your clothes rather than bringing warmer clothes. Although much of the program will be outdoors, we will be active so there will not be much standing around to get cold.
- There may be days when we walk more than three miles and when we will be climbing more than one flight of stairs. Since we will be in city streets, it is important that everyone is able to keep up with the group so we don't get separated by changing traffic lights.
- Many of our hosts will be new to Friendship Force so please help them have a very good first experience.
Friendship Force International provides opportunities to explore new countries and cultures from the inside by bringing people together at the personal level. Through the signature program of home hospitality, local hosts welcome international visitors into their culture, sharing with them meals, conversation, and the best sights and experiences of their region.