16 october 1968 & new school of afro-american thought's 3rd anniversary
#OTD 16 October 1968 It was the 3rd anniversary of the New School of Afro-American Thought (2208 14th St NW), previously named the New School for Afro-American Thought. The New School was co-founded by Don Freeman, Gaston Neal and Elijah Smith, among others, and named by Rimsky Atkinson. The New School was an outgrowth of the Cardozo Area Arts Committee, which sponsored a Three Days of Soul program, organized by Gaston Neal, a staff member at the United Planning Organization. Don Freeman told Gaston Neal that this kind of programming should continue in the form of an institution. Thus the New School.
A grand opening was held 15-16 October 1965 and the school opened with an art gallery, jazz and rock n’ roll workshops and theater. The grand opening weekend included poetry, blues, dance, gospel, latin, rhythm ‘n blues, jazz, painting and film. Events were held each day from 2pm-11pm. Tickets were sold at the New School and at Lincoln Record Store, 1217 U St NW.
Below is the announcement that Julius Hobson, chair of ACT, received about the opening and a letter asking him to attend.
Your comments are welcome below. Do you remember the founding of the New School in 1965? Did you attend the opening weekend? Do you remember the Three Days of Soul event? Do you remember the Cardozo Area Arts Committee? Did you visit the New School in 1968? Was it still at 2208-14th St NW? What kinds of activities were held in 1968? Do you have photographs? Other ephemera? You may comment privately here.
Photo source: Courtesy DC Public Library Special Collections, Evening Star Photo Collection, Photographer unknown. n.d. Gaston Neal, New School co-founder and poet, standing in front of the New School. Note the name on the glass front and the images on the inside wall.
DC Public Library Special Collections, Julius Hobson Papers, ACT I Misc Papers.
For history of New School, see the documentary Under the Radar: New School of Afro-American Thought.