Duke Ellington's Washington | 1999
Documentary about the African-American community in Washington DC, during the early 20th century. In the era before the Harlem Renaissance, the Washington black community was the center of black culture in America -- a jazz mecca for such greats as Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Pearl Bailey, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. In that era, Washington's black community was the largest in America. Unlike Harlem, which was largely white-owned, U Street -- dubbed "the black Broadway" by Washingtonian Pearl Bailey -- was black-owned, black-run and black-built. After the devastation of the 1968 riots, the old U Street sank into urban ruin. But the area is reviving, its comeback signaled by the restoration of historic buildings, rehabilitated rowhouses and new jazz clubs.