More About our Historian Briana A. Thomas: As a local historian and licensed tour guide, Briana’s writings and research have been featured on ABC, NBC, and CBS. She earned her Master of Journalism degree from the Univ. of Maryland-College Park & a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications from Greensboro College. Before chain coffeeshops and luxury high-rises, before even the beginning of desegregation and the 1968 riots, Washington’s Greater U Street was known as Black Broadway. From the early 1900s into the 1950s, African Americans plagued by Jim Crow laws in other parts of town were free to own businesses here and built what was often described as a city within a city. In “Black Broadway in Washington DC“, Briana narrates U Street’s rich and unique history, from the early triumph of emancipation to the days of civil rights pioneer Mary Church Terrell and music giant Duke Ellington, through the recent struggles of gentrification.