Topic: IS BEN'S CHILI BOWL'S LEGACY BEING ABUSED?
IS BEN'S CHILI BOWL'S LEGACY BEING ABUSED?
Immigrants and individuals who are new to this part of downtown DC run a large number of restaurants that have been coming up on U-Street. All of these restaurants have been founded in the past 10-15 years, however to legitimize their presence in the space, in all their promotions and ad campaigns they state their presence in U-Street in the context of ‘Black Broadway’.
These two sentences are common to most of the websites introductory descriptions:
“U Street, known as “Black Broadway”, has been the heart of the African American music scene for over half a century. Once the home of Duke Ellington, it remains a vibrant and exciting neighborhood.”
Ben’s Chili Bowl has stood the test of time, they are one of the lone surviving businesses from the years of Black Broadway, founded in 1955. For new restaurants to simply open shop use words to put themselves at par with Ben’s in terms of legacy and historical responsibility is not justifiable.
Having been a resident of Washington DC for a large period of my life and frequent visitor to U-Street it is of interest to me to understand what a larger community thinks about this issue that I have identified.